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> francis saltus saltus, absinthe poem
delirium
post Jun 19 2013, 09:47 AM
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I noticed there are couple of new poems in absinthe.se. Nice. I was wondering if anyone here could shed some lifght on Saltus' poem.

The last two lines:

I see thee make impetuous Zouaves scale
Stern Malakoffs that teem with countless foes!


…Stern Malakoffs?


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Tibro
post Jun 19 2013, 10:10 AM
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Madness and maniac fancies.

Malakoff, either a French dessert or a Swiss tidbit. Either way, a small morsel mounded on a plate masquerading as a heap o'enemy-infested trouble for the absinthe inebriated, and certainly hallucinating, soldier.

Or, at least, that's my best guess.


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Tibro
post Jun 19 2013, 10:26 AM
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A different take on the food and, with military implications, how it got its name.


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When I wake up,
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isn't there --
to retain my sanity.

Then I try to convince myself that it is.

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L'Assommoir
post Jun 19 2013, 03:14 PM
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IPB Image

The Russians made fortifications out of fried cheese?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Malakoff
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Tibro
post Jun 19 2013, 04:12 PM
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Well, let's see, it fell to the French, didn't it?


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When I wake up,
I try to convince myself that my arm
isn't there --
to retain my sanity.

Then I try to convince myself that it is.

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Artemis
post Jun 19 2013, 07:29 PM
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Yes it did, but in the opinion of the poet, apparently, with the help of some Dutch courage.
http://cd-crimea-2011.virtual.crimea.ua/en...etails/632.html
But Tibro's take on assaulting a platter of cheese under similar influence is admirable indeed.



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Tibro
post Jun 19 2013, 08:46 PM
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There was this one time when I was in college…


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When I wake up,
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to retain my sanity.

Then I try to convince myself that it is.

Frank Bidart
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delirium
post Jun 26 2013, 04:53 PM
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Thanks for clarifying, though I still can't understand what the hell is being said there??


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L'Assommoir
post Jun 26 2013, 07:03 PM
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The poet is saying that drinking absinthe will make a soldier brave or foolhardy enough, or numb enough, to attack a tough fortification (Fort Malakoff) and take it.










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Artemis
post Jun 26 2013, 08:58 PM
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QUOTE
Dutch courage or liquid courage, refers to courage gained from intoxication from alcohol. Originally the phrase 'Dutch courage' referred to the courage that results from indulgence in Dutch gin (jenever), but 'Dutch courage' can also refer to the gin itself. In 1650 Franciscus Sylvius, a Dutch doctor, created Dutch gin in an attempt to create a diuretic medicine. This was then used in the Thirty Years War by English troops and was an instant success for its believed warming properties on the body in cold weather and its calming effects before battle.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_courage






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delirium
post Jun 28 2013, 01:57 PM
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..but mixed with powder - another substance reference?


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L'Assommoir
post Jun 28 2013, 06:10 PM
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Gunpowder.

The poet is setting up the image of drinking before going into battle.


Also, it was common for soldiers to have spirits mixed with canteen water, to make it palatable.
It would also help get rid of the taste of gunpowder in your mouth. Back then you had to bite open a paper cartridge your teeth.
See at 1:00 here
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9mSwbvz2oE


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delirium
post Jun 29 2013, 12:26 PM
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I had no idea. This makes much more sense. I really appreciate your help.


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Kirk
post Jun 29 2013, 02:30 PM
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They told the Arabs the cartridges were sealed with lard (from pigs), it takes a lot of anise to wash that taste out.


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L'Assommoir
post Jun 29 2013, 05:02 PM
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And the Brits had problems with the Hindu troops and beef flavored bullet dip.
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