Sober Song

By Barton Sutter b. 1949 Barton Sutter
Farewell to the starlight in whiskey,
So long to the sunshine in beer.
The booze made me cocky and frisky
But worried the man in the mirror.
Goodnight to the moonlight in brandy,
Adieu to the warmth of the wine.
I think I can finally stand me
Without a glass or a stein.
Bye-bye to the balm in the vodka,
Ta-ta to the menthol in gin.
I'm trying to do what I ought to,
Rejecting that snake medicine.
I won't miss the blackouts and vomit,
The accidents and regret.
If I can stay off the rotgut,
There might be a chance for me yet.
So so long to God in a bottle,
To the lies of rum and vermouth.
Let me slake my thirst with water
And the sweet, transparent truth.

Reprinted from Farewell to the Starlight in Whiskey, Rochester: BOA Editions, 2004, by permission of the author.

Source: Farewell to the Starlight in Whiskey (BOA Editions Ltd., 2004)

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Poet Barton Sutter b. 1949

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Eating & Drinking, Activities

Poetic Terms Ballad

 Barton  Sutter


Barton Sutter was born and raised in small towns in the Upper Midwest. He earned degrees from Southwest Minnesota State University and Syracuse University, and taught at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, the University of Minnesota, and other institutions. The only author to win the Minnesota Book Award in three separate categories, Sutter’s poetry, fiction, and essays depict the landscape and people of the Upper Midwest. . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Eating & Drinking, Activities

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Ballad

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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