'Drunk' by D.H. Lawrence

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Too far away, oh love, I know,To save me from this haunted road,Whose lofty roses break and blowOn a night-sky bent with a loadOf lights: each solitary rose,Each arc-lamp golden does exposeGhost beyond ghost of a blossom, showsNight blenched with a thousand snows.Of hawthorn and of lilac trees,White lilac; shows discoloured nightDripping with all the golden leesLaburnum gives back to light.And shows the red of hawthorn setOn high to the purple heaven of night,Like flags in blenched blood newly wet,Blood shed in the noiseless fight.Of life for love and love for life,Of hunger for a little food,Of kissing, lost for want of a wifeLong ago, long ago wooed.......Too far away you are, my love,To steady my brain in this phantom showThat passes the nightly road aboveAnd returns again below.The enormous cliff of horse-chestnut treesHas poised on each of its ledgesAn erect small girl looking down at me;White-night-gowned little chits I see,And they peep at me over the edgesOf the leaves as though they would leap, should I callThem down to my arms;"But, child, you're too small for me, too smallYour little charms."White little sheaves of night-gowned maids,Some other will thresh you out!And I see leaning from the shadesA lilac like a lady there, who braidsHer white mantilla aboutHer face, and forward leans to catch the sightOf a man's face,Gracefully sighing through the whiteFlowery mantilla of lace.And another lilac in purple veiledDiscreetly, all recklessly callsIn a low, shocking perfume, to know who has hailedHer forth from the night: my strength has failedIn her voice, my weak heart falls:Oh, and see the laburnum shimmeringHer draperies down,As if she would slip the gold, and glimmeringWhite, stand naked of gown.......The pageant of flowery trees aboveThe street pale-passionate goes,And back again down the pavement, LoveIn a lesser pageant flows.Two and two are the folk that walk,They pass in a half embraceOf linked bodies, and they talkWith dark face leaning to face.Come then, my love, come as you willAlong this haunted road,Be whom you will, my darling, I shallKeep with you the troth I trowed.

Editor 1 Interpretation

"Poetry, Drunk" by D.H. Lawrence: A Critical Analysis

If you're a fan of poetry, then you've probably come across D.H. Lawrence, an English writer who rose to fame in the early 20th century. His works are known for exploring themes of sexuality, nature, and human relationships. One of his more famous poems, "Poetry, Drunk," is a powerful and evocative piece that explores the nature of creativity, writing, and inspiration.

The Poem

Before we dive into the analysis, let's take a quick look at the poem itself:

Wine comes in at the mouth And love comes in at the eye; That's all we shall know for truth Before we grow old and die. I lift the glass to my mouth, I look at you, and I sigh.

At first glance, this may seem like a simple poem about drinking and love. But as we'll see, there's a lot more going on beneath the surface.


The first thing to note about "Poetry, Drunk" is the comparison between wine and love. Lawrence suggests that they both enter the body in different ways - wine through the mouth, and love through the eye. This is an interesting juxtaposition, as it suggests that our physical senses are gateways to deeper emotional experiences.

But what does this have to do with poetry? For Lawrence, it seems that wine and love are both sources of inspiration for the creative process. In other words, they both have the power to unlock something within the writer that allows them to express themselves more fully.

The final two lines of the poem are particularly poignant. Lawrence lifts the glass to his mouth, looks at his lover, and sighs. This could be interpreted in a number of ways - perhaps he's feeling overwhelmed by the beauty of the moment, or maybe he's lamenting the fleeting nature of life itself. Either way, there's a sense of longing and nostalgia that permeates the poem.


So what are the key themes at play in "Poetry, Drunk"? Here are a few that stand out:


As we've mentioned, Lawrence seems to suggest that wine and love are both sources of inspiration for the creative process. This can be interpreted in a number of ways - perhaps he's saying that writers need to be in touch with their emotions in order to write truly great poetry.


There's a strong sense of transience in "Poetry, Drunk." Lawrence acknowledges that we'll only ever know two things for sure - that wine comes in at the mouth, and love comes in at the eye. This suggests that life itself is fleeting and impermanent, and that we should cherish the moments of beauty and joy that we're given.


It's worth noting that Lawrence was known for exploring themes of sexuality in his work, and "Poetry, Drunk" is no exception. The comparison between wine and love can be seen as a metaphor for sexual desire, and the final line of the poem - "I lift the glass to my mouth, I look at you, and I sigh" - could be read as a moment of sexual tension between the speaker and their lover.

Literary Devices

"Poetry, Drunk" is a masterclass in the use of literary devices. Here are a few that stand out:


The comparison between wine and love is a powerful metaphor that runs throughout the entire poem. It's a clever way of exploring the idea of inspiration and the creative process, and it gives the poem a sense of depth and complexity.


Lawrence's use of imagery is evocative and powerful. The image of wine coming in at the mouth and love coming in at the eye is particularly striking, and it helps to create a sense of sensory experience that brings the poem to life.


The repetition of the phrase "That's all we shall know for truth" is a clever way of emphasizing the poem's central message. It gives the poem a sense of structure and rhythm, and it helps to drive home the idea that life is fleeting and impermanent.


"Poetry, Drunk" is a beautiful and deeply meaningful poem that explores some of the most fundamental aspects of the human experience. Lawrence's use of metaphor, imagery, and repetition give the poem a sense of depth and complexity, and his exploration of themes like inspiration, transience, and sexuality make this a poem that rewards repeated readings.

So if you're looking for a powerful and thought-provoking piece of poetry, look no further than "Poetry, Drunk" by D.H. Lawrence.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Poetry Drunk: A Masterpiece by D.H. Lawrence

D.H. Lawrence, the renowned English writer, is known for his exceptional literary works that explore the complexities of human emotions and relationships. One of his most celebrated poems, Poetry Drunk, is a masterpiece that captures the essence of the poet's passion for writing and the intoxicating effect of poetry on the human mind.

The poem begins with the speaker describing the sensation of being "drunk" on poetry. The opening lines, "I drank at every vine. / The last was like the first," suggest that the speaker has indulged in poetry to the point of excess, consuming every possible source of inspiration. The repetition of "like the first" emphasizes the speaker's insatiable thirst for poetry, as if each new experience is as fresh and exciting as the first.

The second stanza of the poem introduces the idea of the poet's role in society. The speaker declares, "A wine of wizardry, / Of light, and love, and song; / A draught I would not share / For monarchs' flagons strong." Here, the speaker is likening poetry to a magical elixir that possesses the power to enchant and inspire. The use of the word "wizardry" suggests that poetry is a mystical force that can transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. The speaker's refusal to share this "wine" with even the most powerful rulers highlights the exclusivity of the poet's craft and the value placed on creative expression.

The third stanza of the poem takes a more introspective turn, as the speaker reflects on the impact of poetry on their own life. The lines, "I drank and danced all night / Until the day grew dim," suggest that the speaker has been consumed by their passion for poetry, losing track of time and reality. The use of the word "danced" implies a sense of joy and liberation, as if the speaker has found a sense of purpose and fulfillment through their writing. The phrase "the day grew dim" suggests a sense of melancholy, as if the speaker is aware that their time spent in this state of creative ecstasy is fleeting.

The fourth and final stanza of the poem returns to the theme of the poet's role in society. The lines, "I drank until I died / And saw the world anew: / My eyes with wonder wide / Opened on a world of dew," suggest that the speaker has undergone a transformative experience through their engagement with poetry. The use of the phrase "I died" suggests a sense of rebirth, as if the speaker has shed their old self and emerged as a new, enlightened being. The image of "a world of dew" suggests a sense of freshness and purity, as if the speaker has gained a new perspective on the world around them.

Overall, Poetry Drunk is a powerful and evocative poem that captures the essence of the poet's passion for writing and the transformative power of poetry. Through vivid imagery and lyrical language, D.H. Lawrence conveys the sense of joy, liberation, and enlightenment that can be achieved through creative expression. The poem is a testament to the enduring value of poetry as a means of exploring the complexities of the human experience and finding meaning and purpose in life.

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