Archilocus, on drinking
When university philosophy professors start posting poetry, your first reaction is going to be to turn off, right? And when it’s antique poetry, from over two-and-a-half-thousand years ago, you’re gonna turn off real quick, right?
Wrong. Stephen Hicks has posted a series of poems by a Greek called Archilocus that add a huge store to the world’s sum total of human happiness. Hicks explains that in some respects Archilocus is “the anti-Homer poet. While Homer’s subjects are gods and heroes, Archilochus writes of drunkenness, running away to live and perhaps fight another day, the common man with his feet planted firmly on the ground — and, occasionally of sweet love.”
So here’s Archilocus On drinking:
And I know how to lead off
The sprightly dance
Of the Lord Dionysus,
I do it thunderstruck
And here he is again:
Kindly pass the cup down the deck
And keep it coming from the barrel,
Good red wine, and don’t stir up the dregs,
And don’t think why we shouldn’t be,
More than any other, drunk on guard duty.
Before you pass that cup down from the deck, check out some of Archilocus’ other gems.