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delirium
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?
Tibro
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.
Tibro
A different take on the food and, with military implications, how it got its name.
L'Assommoir
IPB Image

The Russians made fortifications out of fried cheese?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Malakoff
Tibro
Well, let's see, it fell to the French, didn't it?
Artemis
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.

Tibro
There was this one time when I was in college…
delirium
Thanks for clarifying, though I still can't understand what the hell is being said there??
L'Assommoir
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.










Artemis
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




delirium
..but mixed with powder - another substance reference?
L'Assommoir
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


delirium
I had no idea. This makes much more sense. I really appreciate your help.
Kirk
They told the Arabs the cartridges were sealed with lard (from pigs), it takes a lot of anise to wash that taste out.
L'Assommoir
And the Brits had problems with the Hindu troops and beef flavored bullet dip.
L'Assommoir
I find these lines fun to interpret:

QUOTE
Some godless wretch, with haggard eyes and pale,
Seeking the shame of brutal bagnios


Bagnio could be a French labor prison,
a Turkish bath house, or brothel

definition here
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bagnio


So if Saltius meant prison why would you seek it?
or if bath house, why brutal?
bet.gif dildollpink.gif
Artemis
He doesn't mean to literally seek it - it's a metaphor for degradation. Absinthe addiction can lead to some nasty situations. Think of the period drawings that show some poor wretch going to hell, the green fairy's hand on his shoulder - that's the way I take it.
L'Assommoir
It looks like he means the degradation of the brothel.

I just read the "Flasks and Flagons" poems from Saltus
found them
Here

He makes the same 'bagnio' reference in the poem Gin:
QUOTE

Dulling all confidence in God or kin
Thy woeful specter on humanity thrust
Invokes sad pictures of supreme disgust
A yelling harlot, or a bagnio's din.




Artemis
Good find. I should have said "degradation through willful participation", as that's the key to it.
Hillbilly
QUOTE(Artemis @ Jun 30 2013, 02:28 PM) *
"degradation through willful participation"

That's always been my weakness.
Tibro
I prefer to think of it as a strength.
Provenance
QUOTE(Artemis @ Jun 30 2013, 12:28 PM) *
I should have said "degradation through willful participation"


An interesting way of describing Jr. High.
Artemis
Education is compulsory in the U.S. Attendance at school is, anyway. Which brings me to the recent boo-hoo about that witness in the murder trial in Florida. "Cursive" is the buzz word. People are giving her a pass because she can't read "cursive". They talk about it like it's a foreign language. It's handwriting. She can't read handwriting? Which means she can't write? She prints in block letters? But they haven't taught "cursive" in school for years, say the facilitators of ignorance. Strange, I remember learning a lot of things I wasn't FORCED to learn. Makes me wonder what they do teach, though - how to enter letters on a dinky little keyboard with an artificial fingernail?
Provenance
I'm surprised more people don't write in cursive, particularly given how many speak it fluently.
Jaded Prole
Civilization's end began with the invention of the ball point pen.
Artemis
Have you tried a Pilot Vanishing Point?
IPB Image
G&C
I really liked that movie.
Barry Newman, Cleavon Little & Dean Jagger.

Tibro
The autopen must signify that civilization has now run its entire course. The end of the end.
Artemis
La fin du mot.

QUOTE
I'm surprised more people don't write in cursive, particularly given how many speak it fluently.


My father was fluent in cursive, both French and English.
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