Musing

A little change is always good. So in the spirit of revitalizing I Drink Your Wine, I am adding this new section called “Musings”. Some would call it a blog,  and I suppose in some ways it is. But blog is such a harsh sounding word, like someone just spewed a bunch of words on the page for the sake of content. “Musings” rolls lovingly off the tongue, conveying a sense of eloquence, an appreciation for the power of words, a personal narrative in which the journey is the destination, with a blatant disregard for run-on sentences. The dictionary defines musing as “calm, lengthy, intent consideration”, but I think that definition stops short and is much too clinical, as dictionaries generally are. I prefer to think of musings in more classical poetic terms, as in “inspired by a Muse”.

And who were the Muses, you might ask?  They were the Greek goddesses who presided over the arts and sciences. They were believed to inspire all artists, especially poets, philosophers, and musicians. The Muses were the daughters of  Zeus and Mnemosyne, the goddess of memory. The Muses sat near the throne of Zeus, king of the gods, and sang of his greatness and of the origin of the world and its inhabitants and the glorious deeds of the great heroes. From their name words such as music, museum, and mosaic are derived.

So the field is pretty much wide open here, as the Muses effectively influence just about every aspect of life.

In the spirit of the Muses, and given that the grape harvest is just about over and winemaking is in full swing, I think it only fitting that today I offer up what I consider to be the finest poem ever written about wine, by one of my favorite poets. Make of it what you will.

Ode To Wine by Pablo Neruda
Day-colored wine,
night-colored wine,
wine with purple feet
or wine with topaz blood,
wine,
starry child
of earth,
wine, smooth
as a golden sword,
soft
as lascivious velvet,
wine, spiral-seashelled
and full of wonder,
amorous,
marine;
never has one goblet contained you,
one song, one man,
you are choral, gregarious,
at the least, you must be shared.
At times
you feed on mortal
memories;
your wave carries us
from tomb to tomb,
stonecutter of icy sepulchers,
and we weep
transitory tears;
your
glorious
spring dress
is different,
blood rises through the shoots,
wind incites the day,
nothing is left
of your immutable soul.
Wine
stirs the spring, happiness
bursts through the earth like a plant,
walls crumble,
and rocky cliffs,
chasms close,
as song is born.
A jug of wine, and thou beside me
in the wilderness,
sang the ancient poet.
Let the wine pitcher
add to the kiss of love its own.
My darling, suddenly
the line of your hip
becomes the brimming curve
of the wine goblet,
your breast is the grape cluster,
your nipples are the grapes,
the gleam of spirits lights your hair,
and your navel is a chaste seal
stamped on the vessel of your belly,
your love an inexhaustible
cascade of wine,
light that illuminates my senses,
the earthly splendor of life.

But you are more than love,
the fiery kiss,
the heat of fire,
more than the wine of life;
you are
the community of man,
translucency,
chorus of discipline,
abundance of flowers.
I like on the table,
when we’re speaking,
the light of a bottle
of intelligent wine.
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.

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