Writing Poems and Blowing It: Verse Versus Breathalyzer

Gene Weingarten on

WASHINGTON -- Technology, I am pleased to report, can at last help answer a literary question earnestly debated by poets from Baudelaire to Yeats to Oscar Wilde: Does drinking improve writing?

Beside me is a hand-held Breathalyzer Ive just bought at a drugstore. I shall consume a beer every 10 minutes while attempting to write glib poetry on subjects thrown at me by my editor, Tom the Butcher.

These are exactly as I typed them. No later editing allowed.

At .01 blood alcohol concentration, stone-cold sober:

On Heisenbergs Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Physics

Herr Dr. H, youve found great fame

From the axiom that bears your name.

It says we cant know things for sure

(Further details are obscure).

You swear youre right. You are, I guess.


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Copyright 2012 Washington Post Writers Group


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