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Cordial Relations Over Absinthe

The depiction of the absinthe imbiber as a figure of satire and ridicule is increasingly apparent in period newspapers and publication of the late 1800’s to early 1900’s, riding shotgun to more formal prohibitionist sentimentality.

A curious piece reproduced in the New Zealand Taranaki Herald (Volume XLVIII, Issue 11755, 23 February 1900) effectively borrows a Boer War propaganda poem & song by Rudyard Kipling of 1899 ‘The Absent Minded Beggar’, making social commentary on the then state of Anglo-French relations by changing it to ‘The Absinthe Minded Beggar’.

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Posted by Jonathan on Apr 12th 2010 | Filed in Culture,History,Literature | Comments (0)

The Poetic Lot of a Canny Scot

-Edwin Morgan

Love rules. Love laughs. Love marches. Love
is the wolf that guards the gate.
Love is the food of music, art, poetry. It
fills us and fuels us and fires us to create.
Love is terror. Love is sweat. Love is bashed
pillow, crumpled sheet, unenviable fate.
Love is the honour that kills and saves and nothing
will ever let that high ambiguity abate.
Love is the crushed ice that tingles and shivers
and clinks fidgin-fain for the sugar-drenched
absinth to fall on it and alter its state.
With love you send a probe
So far from the globe
No one can name the shoals the voids the belts the
zones the drags the flares it signals all to
leave all and to navigate.

Who says the era of absinthe-addled poets is part of history long gone?

This poem written in 2002 by Scotland’s National Poet, Edwin Morgan shows that the allure of the green muse still prompts literary reference and deference.
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Posted by Jonathan on May 1st 2009 | Filed in Culture,Literature,People | Comments (0)

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