Poetry at the Post: Brew Hopping in Austin with George Arnold

Beer
BY GEORGE ARNOLD

1834–1865

Here,
With my beer
I sit,
While golden moments flit:

beer 3

Last Saturday, six souls in search of sun, music and the mellow taste of beer headed for The Thirsty Planet Brewery, an Austin brewery with a purpose. According to their website, the team at Thirsty Planet “strives to keep the planet’s well-being in mind” during their day to day operations and gratuities from the tasting room are donated to a different charity each month. This month’s charity is Well Aware—”clean water for life.’

Thirsty Planet Brewery  Austin, TX March 28, 2015
Thirsty Planet Brewery
Austin, TX
March 28, 2015

Go, whining youth,
Forsooth!
Go, weep and wail,
Sigh and grow pale,
Weave melancholy rhymes
On the old times,
Whose joys like shadowy ghosts appear,—

George Arnold was a mid 19th century poet and writer and a regular contributor to Vanity Fair. He is best known for his poem “The Jolly Old Pedagogue.” Arnold was also a frequent patron and part of the “In Crowd” at Pfaff’s Beer Cellar, a popular rathskeller in Greenwich village for New York writers and artists, including Walt Whitman. Other than that, not much is known about Arnold.

In the poem “Beer,” he laments the passing of his youth. Really?!! Arnold only lived to be 31! But, as we know, depression has no boundaries and age is relative.

What I like about this poem is how it makes me want to recommit to it (whatever it is today, this month, this year) yet reminds me that sometimes it’s okay to forget about it and to just enjoy the light, song and a glass of beer. Prost!

 Pfaff's beer cellar in 1857. Depicted seated is Walt Whitman.

Pfaff’s beer cellar in 1857. Depicted seated is Walt Whitman.

So, if I gulp my sorrows down,
Or see them drown
In foamy draughts of old nut-brown,
Then do I wear the crown,
Without the cross

beer 2

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