The Bohemian Raises his Glass

Carlos Pezoa Veliz

Don’t look down on the drunkards who perish
befuddling their sorrows with wine:
you don’t hate the flowers that flourish
light-headed in morning sunshine.
The eyes of the ladies attract us
to the high drunken rapture of passion;
their kisses are Bacchus’s nectars -
our lips are in thrall to sensation. 
Drunk with light goes Ophelia, sunken
in the gloom of a desolate plain;
the priest at the altar is drunken
with the blood of a god that is slain,
like the poet who gazes unblinking
at the boundless blue eye of the main.

Carlos Pezoa Véliz was Municipal Secretary of Viña del Mar in Chile.

Translation by Timothy Adès.

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