Excerpts from Poems About Absinthe

First up: Raoul Ponchon’s poem, “Five o’clock absinthe”

  • “It’s surely time for an absinthe / Don’t you think, my son?”
  • “You have your absinthe, it’s all about preparation”
  • “Absinthe wants first, beautiful ice water”
  • “Always rouse her from the first drop / … Like so.. and so… very gently / Then behold her quiver, all vibrant / With an innocent smile”

Next up: A humorous short story, “Absinthes”, published in 1885 by Aphonse Allais

  • “Good stuff, absinthe. Not the first mouthful, perhaps. But after that. Good stuff.”
  • “Good fun, absinthe with sugar, but can’t stand around all day waiting for it to melt.”

Next up:  Ernest Dowson’s 1899 poem, “Absinthia Taetra”

  • “Green changed to white, emerald to opal; nothing was changed. “
  • “The man let the water trickle gently into his glass, and as the green clouded, a mist fell from his mind.”

Next up: Raoul Ponchon’s 1886 poem, “The Sonnet of Absinthe”

  • “Absinthe, O my lively liquor / It seems, when I drink you / I inhale the young forest’s soul / During the beautiful green season”
  • “Your perfume disconcerts me / And in your opalescence / I see the full heavens of yore / As through an open gate”

Next up: Marie Corelli’s 1890 book, “Wormwood: A Drama of Paris”

  • “Life without Absinthe! I can not imagine it! / For me it would be impossible!”
  • “With this divine nectar of Olympus I can defy misfortune and laugh at poverty / as though they were the merest bagatels.”

And finally, a quote from “”Lendemain” by Charles Cros:

  • “Absinthe, on a winter evening / Lights up in green the sooty soul”
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