And One For The Wine And The Line!

Is wine just a beverage? Begrudgingly, I concede there are times when this may be the case for some. But in my life, never! Wine is experiential, always! It’s history and tradition, craftspersonship and the agrarian way, art and commerce, family and farm and business and budget; it’s people and it’s stories, as it is music and poetry, and love and passion and silence and introspection and meditation and engagement and camaraderie and faith and …

Well, wine is poetry, that’s what I really wanted to talk about; that, and that poetry is wine, and that one begets the other just as the converse is also true …

So to the poets I turn, in doubt as to how to proceed with the proof that proves the theorem that wine is indeed experiential. Specifically, to Pablo Neruda’s astonishing poem “Ode To Wine.” I won’t give the whole poem away here, in hopes that you’ll follow the link below and not only read the remainder of this poem, but that you’ll also dig farther into the Neruda canon; that said, I’ll certainly leave you with the dangle of the opening and closing stanzas:

Day-colored wine,
night-colored wine,
wine with purple feet
or wine with topaz blood,
starry child
of earth,
wine, smooth
as a golden sword,
as lascivious velvet,
wine, spiral-seashelled
and full of wonder,
never has one goblet contained you,
one song, one man,
you are choral, gregarious,
at the least, you must be shared.

(The above is how the poem opens, below is its conclusion.)

Drink it,
and remember in every
drop of gold,
in every topaz glass,
in every purple ladle,
that autumn labored
to fill the vessel with wine;
and in the ritual of his office,
let the simple man remember
to think of the soil and of his duty,
to propagate the canticle of the wine.

You can find the full text of this wondrous poem here.

Categories: Wine & Poetry

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