One of the readings thus far, that I found to be the most meaningful and interesting to read and decipher was the collection of Charles Baudelaire’s poems. While he has a collection of poems, the overall underlying theme is his poems is similar. The two that I found particularly meaningful were “Be Drunk” and “To The Reader” due to a common theme. In both poems, there is a strong emphasis on the idea of boredom and how boredom has potential adverse consequences on our decisions as an individual.
To provide context for my interactions with the text, I think it is important to briefly explain each poem. First, in the poem “Be Drunk” Baudelaire advises that we must always be drunk. It does not matter what we are drunk on, but rather if we are drunk. In the poem “To The Reader” he mentions a variety of actions that we would consider sins in our society such as lust, narcotics, arson, etc. However, the greatest sin is not what we would typically think of. Instead, it is the feeling of boredom. In fact, the greatest sin, boredom, causes us to commit other actions that society would not condone.
I found “Be Drunk” to be a piece that any reader can easily connect to. This is because I believe it is relevant to a wide audience, if not everyone. When I read this text at the library, it led me to reflect on my own life. In this case, I think the setting that the text was read in, does not have a major impact on my response to it because the message being reflected is universal in context. This poem is relatively short, easy to follow along, and direct, while transcribing a strong message. Specifically, for these reasons, I think it makes it a Great Work. Personally, the reason I connect to this poem strongly is because it makes me question if I am at the stage where I “am continually drunk.” It makes me reflect and ask myself “have I found what makes me not feel the burden of time?” In modern society, we are so fast-paced and with the continuous upgrade of modern technology, we seem to lose ourselves in the virtual world. We are constantly checking the news, social media, and trying to catch up with the latest trends. It seems as if we are constantly busy and submerged in this constantly changing society. However, if we take a moment to reflect on our lives, how much of our “busy” schedule is dedicated to our personal interests and pursuits? This is the part that struck me the most because it made me look back on my past experiences and decisions and determine which were the ones that were most fulfilling. I enjoyed reading this piece because in our modern society, too much time may be given to activities that do not spark interest, while neglecting to spend time participating inactivates that make us feel pleasure and happiness. If I am not using time to engage in what I find meaningful, boredom will be the major component of everyday life.