, ,

(Photo credit- The Economics Times)

“Wine is bottled poetry.”

                   Robert Louis Stevenson

Who could disagree with that! Like a good wine, a good poem reveals different nuances every time it is read. Just as the taste of wine changes after the bottle is first opened, a poem too changes, over a period of time, in the meaning it offers. Both need to be savoured leisurely. Today let each one of us raise her/his glass/cup/mug to the intoxicating power of poetry and try to distill its essence in our words.

Susie Selby, a winemaker, offers a very interesting observation on wine and poetry.

“Rose is the Sonnet: it is simple, enjoyable and has a limited life. Zinfandel is the Limerick: it is fun, playful and sometimes a bit dirty. Pinot Noir is the Haiku: it requires precision and technical expertise. Cabernet Sauvignon is the Epic: it is lengthy and serious and will live forever.”

Emily Dickinson in her delightful verse I taste a liquor never brewed says :

Inebriated of air – am I-

And Debauchee of Dew

Reeling- thro’ endless summer days –

From inns of molten Blue

(Photo credit:ThoughtCo)

It seems alcohol and poetry go hand in hand. Maybe because alcohol helps loosen the knotted emotions and let them flow freely! 

John Keats once said, “Give me books, French wine, fruit, fine weather and a little music played out of doors by somebody I do not know.”

Pablo Neruda in Ode to Wine writes,

Day-colored wine

night-colored wine

wine with purple feet

or wine with topaz blood…

But it is not just wine that has been the muse of poets. Ron Butlin in A Recipe for Whisky writes

Wring the Scottish rain clouds dry;

Take sleet, the driving snow, the hail;

Winter twilight; the summer’s sun slowed down

to pearl-sheen dusk on hillsides, city-roofs,

on lochs at midnight.

And, most of all, take the years that have already run

to dust, the dust we spill behind us…

And lest you think we are only going to wax eloquence about alcoholic drinks, you are wrong. For inspiration for teetotallers here’s an excellent haiku, by the master himself, on tea.

A monk sips morning tea,

it’s quiet,

the chrysanthemum’s flowering,


(Photo credit: Lee Perlitz Training Consultancy)

And I came across this interesting take on coca cola

Ode to Coca-Cola

Wakes me up better than a cold shower,

a swim in an ocean of dark carbonated beverage.

The mist of the bubbles on my face

Is cooler and more refreshing

than the mist of a waterfall.

(Photo credit: Wine Enthusiast Magazine)

Or like Amy Lowell in Vintage, you could use it as a metaphor.

I will mix me a drink of stars,—

Large stars with polychrome needles,

Small stars jetting maroon and crimson,

Cool, quiet, green stars.

I will tear them out of the sky,

And squeeze them over an old silver cup…

You can read some more poems here, here and here.

Maybe you would like some fun poems for inspiration.

Let’s mix poetry into a heady cocktail or mocktail, pour a glass of wine or a dram of whisky or sip tea delicately from a china cup or from a sturdy mug, though we do it every time we meet, but let’s do it in so many words. Write about your favourite drink (alcoholic/non-alcoholic), write about getting drunk, use drinking as a metaphor, in short: write a poem in a form of your choice with a drinking connection.

I end with a Bukowski quote (how could I not!),

 “That’s the problem with drinking, I thought, as I poured myself a drink. If something bad happens you drink in an attempt to forget; if something good happens you drink in order to celebrate; and if nothing happens you drink to make something happen.”

Let’s all drink to the goodness of words flowing, let’s all live up to our pub’s name, let’s spread some cheer!

Bottoms up!!

Once you have written your poem, please don’t forget to link up with Mr. Linky, who will be patiently waiting till Thursday afternoon. Don’t forget to sample other poets’ offerings.

Here’s some musical inspiration for you.

Rory Gallagher
Alexis Korner