A Drunken Man's Praise of Sobriety - W. B Yeats

Come swish around, my pretty punk,
And keep me dancing still
That I may stay a sober man
Although I drink my fill.
Sobriety is a jewel
That I do much adore;
And therefore keep me dancing
Though drunkards lie and snore.
O mind your feet, O mind your feet,
keep dancing like a wave,
And under every dancer
A dead man in his grave.
No ups and downs, my pretty,
A mermaid, not a punk;
A drunkard is a dead man,
And all dead men are drunk.

My favourite poem of Yeats was pinned to my bedpost from the age of 18 - 22. .. I think it served me well.

Thanks for all your comments & "Hello and Welcome!!" to all the new followers. Due to the activity in the comments section, 'Memoires of a HH' is no longer only my blog... It has become much more than that - It's a joint venture. I have realised that there are many more wonderful people in this world than I ever imagined. If the blog has become successful it is because of your input and not mine. That's not a statement of negative worthlessness... it's just my way of saying "thanks".

There will be a proper Heroinhead post for you all tomorrow... excuse the delay, but its been a hectic week.

I hope you're all well & I send you all my very best wishes.

Shane. x


Anonymous said...

Bonjour...une lectrice française qui parle très très mal l'anglais (sorry sorry !!!). C'est riche d'entendre votre voix et votre vécu intérieur par rapport à la drogue... c'est un sujet auquel je n'avais pas réfléchi, et auquel on ne pense souvent que de façon très extérieure, quand ça ne touche pas des proches : vous y donnez un visage et l'inscrivez dans un parcours de vie (c'est toujours bon à rappeler). ça me fait réfléchir à l'addiction d'un jeune homme que je connais (qui a été adopté). Merci donc pour ce partage.

Une chose m'épouvante un peu en vous lisant, pour ce qu'elle me rappelle de MOI : c'est DINGUE comme on peut parler avec lucidité, subtilité, et intelligence...d'une "difficulté"/fragilité (je ne veux pas en cela stigmatiser votre addiction, je pense que vous me comprenez). Il me semble que je parle aussi très bien d'une grande difficulté que j'ai (la procrastination), au point que l'expression de cette difficulté devient un "point fort", une marque de mon intelligence. On salue ma lucidité et la force de mes propos et la force de dévoiler ma "faiblesse". Je me demande si ça n'est pas un peu piégeant, si ça n'incite pas quelque part à se complaire dans cette posture (d'intelligence, et d'intelligence de sa difficulté -avec la petite part de narcissisme que cela comporte forcément), et donc, dans notre "problématique"/difficulté. Comme si elle devenait notre identité.

Ce qui est effrayant c'est la dichotomie entre comprendre et changer (si tant est qu'il le faille : pour moi il le faudrait)

Bonne continuation et peut-être à une autre fois !

Une addict des oreillers.


ryan field said...

You're welcome.

Syd said...

I look forward to reading more about your memories. Yeats is an interesting poet. He and Eliot are among my favorites.

Jasmine B. Demented said...

what a lovely poem.


Sarcastic Bastard said...

Loved the Yeats poem, Shane. I had never encountered that one before.

I did meet Yeats's son and his daughter-in-law at a lecture in college. They talked about their dad and also told a very funny story about their son asking for extra lunch money to pay U2 NOT to play at lunch, when he was in school with them and they were just starting out. I guess they were playing in the cafeteria and were pretty bad.

Best to you.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Salut Macha,

Merci pour votre réponse. Vous me donnez beaucoup de travail pour vous répondre en français!! ;)

Je ne vois pas l’héroïne comme une faiblesse. C’est quelque chose qui existe à l’intérieur d’autre chose de plus grand, la vie. Je ne découpe pas la vie en événements qui doivent être résolus ou dépassés. Mon addiction à l’héroïne n’est ni une faiblesse ni une force, ce n’est pas une chose positive ou négative. Comprendre et changer n’ont pas de rapport entre eux pour moi. Si nous menons une lutte morale intérieure avec nos comportements ou nos actions, alors je suis d’accord avec vous, mais ce n’est pas mon cas.

Nous nous poussons toujours pour nous sentir bien dans la position dans laquelle nous nous trouvons ; c’est la nature humaine. Ca marche de la même façon pour un balayeur de rue que pour un héroïnomane. On ne peut pas passe son temps à se concentrer sur le négatif.

A propos de procrastination, c’est un sentiment que beaucoup de drogués ressentent. J’en ai eu l’expérience, mais plus maintenant. L’une des conditions que je me suis posées en utilisant l’héroïne, c’est qu’elle n’affecte pas ma créativité, que je puisse continuer à peindre, écrire et penser. Si je perdais cela, je serais en guerre contre l’héroïne, je décrocherais. Je donne une grande importance au fait de maintenir mon addiction stable. Car ce n’est pas l’addiction mais le style de vie qui a les pires effets sur le drogué.

Je ne peux pas aller plus loin ici car ce serait trop long à expliquer. Mais si vous etes intéressée “par cela ou autre chose”, vous pouvez toujours m’envoyer un email personnellement. En tout cas, j’espère que vous continuerez à lire, commenter et donner ton avis.

A bientôt,


Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...


Thanks for your input. I enjoy certain works of Yeats, though at times to understand him you need a degree in Celtic Mythology... & I don't have that!! ;)

Best wishes... Shane.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

JasmineisTrash... You didn't leave me much to respond to, lol. I re^spond anyway just to say "hi" and to thank you for following and your time.

Take care & hopefully we'll speak more soon. BW, Shane.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...


Thanks for the little anecdote... though I think you've just turned one of the regulars here off Yeats for life. Her obsession with U2 is worrying (to say the least) and she goes by the name of Starrlight!!

All the best, Shane.

Ps:Starrlight... just playing with you. ;)

Poetic Genesis said...

Hey Shane

Love the poem! And Thank YOU for having such a wonderful blog. I visit many, but yours is always at the top of my list!

Hopefully your 'hectic' has been a good one for you. I'll see you when you post again, my friend.

Stay peace


Lou said...

Hello Shane, checking in. I see you quickly gained fame (notoriety?) here!

I wondered if you ever heard this joke I read on an ex-heroin heads blog..

a drunk will steal your wallet
a junky will steal your wallet, then help you look for it

Love, Lou

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Lou, I never heard that one.. but it's brilliant, and as you know.. Oh so true!! lol

Take care Lou

Shane. X

Ps: I see the success of the blog as the input of everyone... I write the posts - that's all. What makes it more interesting are the questions back stage... the interaction.

PPS: i'll be doing the Junkie vs Addict piece within the next two posts. I didn't forget you!! ;)

Bar L. said...

Shane, I feel the same way over at my blog - who knew there were so many wonderful people out there? And they're all Bloggers ;)

You rock.

Herbert Barry Woodrose said...

It's very true. The comments on your pages are an integral part of the experience here at Memoire station. Far more than anywhere else I read, everyone here sticks out and has a clear voice. This is becoming like a favorite pub. You're the bartender most days, and while I come for the great stories, I stay for the other patrons. Great work here - there is a model here for the society I'd build.

I want to thank you for the great input you left on my place - it spurred a lot of thoughts from me, and I added to it again - check it out, I'd love to hear what you think.

Also - I just got the movie you recommended about the Memphis 3 I think it was. UNfortunately, Netflix got the order wrong and I got the second movie first. I'm waiting for the first one now - I wonder if I can just watch it out of order?

Also - I saw a wild film today. It's called Color of Fear. It knocked me out. It's hard to find, there's a streaming version available - if you can't find it let me know and I'll try to get it for you (if you're interested, that is - it's about a group of guys in 1993 just talking about racism. I didn't think I was up for a downer like that but it really punched me in the face.Very bare, and bear.)

Talk to you soon Cochise.

filthy lust said...

can't wait!

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Shane, thanks for signing up to follow my blog. It means a lot.

Stay in touch.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...


I would watch them in order... but as you WILL watch them multiple times, maybe it doesn't matter. Still, my advice is wait for the first one to arrive. I think a fury will erupt in you as it has in me... we'll see.

For your blog I ill post a reply shortly... you've given me a lot of work!!! lol

Take care Herbert & as always your presence was a priviledge.

TC, Shane.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Filthy Lust... You won't have to much longer (I'm editing at the moment!)

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for your response (with an execellent french) and the efforts you did for that. I can tell you, now, that i do READ english well enough ;) ;) (so i'm saying thanks in english otherwise it wouldn't be fair)

I hear what you are saying about you, heroin, creativity and life(as for me i actually have a moral fight with my behaviour ,and it has to do with my "creativity" - or let's say my intellectual production.

So obviously inner ennemies are worse than drug, sometimes.

Merci encore pour votre attention et à bientôt !


Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

See this post

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Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Gggh When I saw 'A New Yorker' I thought I may have an insightful, even intelligent comment to look forward to. But no.. Sadly not. It's obvious you've arrived here with pre-(badly)-formed ideas and have asked questions to which you believe you already have the answers. You have also grouped ALL drugs together and most are taken nowhere near frequently enough to interfere with human interaction.
"most people I know" And how the hell did you arrive at tje conclusion you have ftom a handful of people? That'd be akin to me asking 10 friends who they're gonna vote for in the next presidential elections and based on their replies believing i have the results of the next election! And that also begs the question, if drugs have so terribly cut these people off from the world then how the hell was you then able to share wn intimate enough relationship with them to be able to study them and arrive at your conclusion? You've formed huge general ideas based on the flimsiest of observations. So then your argument must also be that all the prescribed drugs (many strong opiates, often exactly what wr can buy on the street) are also breaking social cohesion apart? If not, why? Is prescribed heroin, cannabis, speed different in your eyes to the street.drug? You also need to maybe look at heroin addicts in another context and see if your preconceived ideas hold true:
Terminally ill cancer patients.... Those with lifelong debilitating illnesses... Severe burns victims, etc. ALL prescribed dia-morphine (HEROIN) over years, all on higher doses than your average street addict, all administering just as many doses as a street addict per day, and all physically addicted to dia-morphine (heroin). If all these myths are true then why don't these patients on prescribed heroin suddenly turn into thieves, liars, cheaters, lose contact with people, stop washing, lose their teeth, love the drug, etc etc. If heroin has that effect why aren't those prescribed a stable daily dose exhibiting the same behaviours? Because if the habit is stable and not a financial burden then heroin/opiate addiction is almost undetectable. And that's the same for a street addict. If he has the financial means and a good enough supply then his drug addiction becomes as stable as any drug legally prescribed and has just as little consequences in his life. You should really try thinking a little. But of course, you'll never want to see such a truth because if that's the case then the solution will horrify you. Asking ME about Philip Hoffmann just again shows up your thought processes and how you judge people yoursrlf. HOW THE FUCK DO I KNOW IF HOFFMANN WAS A STABLE ADDICT OR JUNKIE without knowing him, his private life or his addiction. But again, you hsd already decided what you thought I would label him without ever thinking that not everyone is as ignorant in their conclusions snd judgements as you. Even this conversation, after years of heavy drug abuse it should be me with the skewed reasoning and poor brain power... But it's not, it's you... And if sobriety means being even a little like you then I'd prefer a life of drugs and a young death rather than 82 years of stupidity and ignorance. Love & Thoughts. Shane. X

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