Thursday, December 29, 2011

Beer Poetry: Eckerlen's Bad Santa and Auden on the Post-Christmas Lull

Was your Santa, like this one in an ad from 1903, an ol' booze hound?

It's hard to imagine today seeing an image of Santa like that, except in a "bad Santa" meme. (But we know about Santa's little helper.)

Hopefully you drank well and often over the holidays!

And now the pause.

In "For the Time Being," a Christmas Oratorio, written but too long for Benjamin Britten to set to music, W.H. Auden captures the hung-over flavor of the post-holiday lull:
Well, so that is that. Now we must dismantle the tree,
Putting the decorations back into their cardboard boxes --
Some have got broken -- and carrying them up to the attic.
The holly and the mistletoe must be taken down and burnt,
And the children got ready for school. There are enough
Left-overs to do, warmed-up, for the rest of the week --
Not that we have much appetite, having drunk such a lot,
Stayed up so late, attempted -- quite unsuccessfully --
To love all of our relatives, and in general
Grossly overestimated our powers. Once again
As in previous years we have seen the actual Vision and failed
To do more than entertain it as an agreeable
Possibility, once again we have sent Him away,
Begging though to remain His disobedient servant,
The promising child who cannot keep His word for long.
The Christmas Feast is already a fading memory,
And already the mind begins to be vaguely aware
Of an unpleasant whiff of apprehension at the thought
Of Lent and Good Friday which cannot, after all, now
Be very far off....

...In the meantime
There are bills to be paid, machines to keep in repair,
Irregular verbs to learn, the Time Being to redeem
From insignificance.
(Santa from a 1903 Eckerlen Saloon and liquors ad)

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