I drank, and felt the darkness flood
into my mouth; I tasted blood
as I trod on through ash and mud
to gaze upon the wall.
The words that once bled ancient doom
still pierced the veil of choking gloom
that crept, like mist, throughout the room
of Belshazzar’s great ball.
Before the Babel wine was sipped
our Lord did make this feast a crypt;
His mocking otherworldly script
still read “All empires fall.”
And to this wall, I took my pen
and scored a plea for better men:
“Great empires will still rise again
when great minds raise the call.”
I was awoken by a flash storm this evening, one which carried with it great thoughts and consequences. An epiphany was delivered to me - as an article, fully formed in my mind - and when I finally roused myself to put pen to paper (so to speak), the first drop of ink landed at 3:13am.
Decadent Romanticism: A Poetic Definition for Contemporary Society
My immediate peers, that is, members of what society currently defines as ‘the Decadent Romantics’, will not forgive me for what I’m about to do, for it will be essentially turning a tongue-in-cheek term into a definition for a school of thought (without said ‘school’ having existed, at least in an institutional sense). Unlike the Brothellian Movement, which brings together like-minded individuals to share in the common goal of igniting a new cultural renaissance, the ‘school’ of Decadent Romanticism has been born not from an ideal, but from revolutionary attitudes handed to us through global situation and circumstance.
It is not an institution and it does not have a manifesto; it is the unblessed spirit of verve and vice. The Romantic age was a glorious one indeed, one born through the struggle for liberty and retreating at the march of blood and discovery, but what vanishes from sight does not simply die; such inspiration has the power to return under the correct, revolutionary circumstances. The previously mentioned school of thought is a spring founded on these circumstances, a source from which we all drink and draw inspiration.
But we are not simply Romantics, for we have earned wisdom and philosophies from our predecessors, and we can see the vanity in championing naturalism to an already jaded civilisation as clearly as the necessity to endorse the need for aestheticism in contemporary artistic society. It seems that we are all damned to the global pandemic of sanctioned lust, celebrity culture and mass consumption, and in this way it is apparent that we have become the next ‘poetes maudits’: accursed by society, not the self.
And so my definition of Decadent Romanticism crawls, naked, into the night. We use this flawed, jaded society as the motor for our art, and revolutionary spirit as it’s fuel.