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The Rhyme Maker

S. H. Bass
b. 1956

Themes:   Love and Romance
                        Poetry and Poets

Special Rhyme List:  Copyrighted poetry

Author's Notes:
The “better bard” is William Shakespeare.  The quote is from the famous “To be or not to be” soliloquy in Hamlet ( Act 3, scene 1).

Maenads were female followers of Dionysus, lovely and seductive, but prone to acts of extreme violence while in the midst of bacchanalian celebration.  (Also see Witter Bynner's  wine poem,  Bacchanalian).

The Muses were nine ladies of antiquity, goddesses whose domain was the inspiration of poetry.
– S. H. Bass    

more S. H. Bass at
A List
A Sonnet Sequence

A Wine Poem

An Altar Boy's Lament

Buy With Bread . . . Sell With Cheese
From The Cellar


My New Trinity
Ode To White Zinfandel
Our Vintage Years
Red Wine and Black Coffee
Somewhere In The Wine

Spilt Wine
The Discovery
What Can Be Said About Both Wine And Poetry

Wine is . . .
Wine Knows No Winter
Wine, Thy Name Is Woman

Translations into English Verse:
Hymn To Beauty by Charles Baudelaire
The Wine Of Lovers by Charles Baudelaire
The Wine Of The Murderer by Charles Baudelaire
The Wine Of The Rag-Pickers by Charles Baudelaire
The Wine Of The Solitary by Charles Baudelaire
Over the past year I've given up by Cecci Angiolieri
Three Clusters Of Grapes by Giovanni Pascoli

Stop Button Clutter sign.

The Poet’s Wine (a prose poem)
S. H. Bass (b. 1956), American writer/poet

I do not know what it is about you
that makes me corona to your star:
I – your pale crown that ebbs and flows
with every breath your name intones.
The lunar winds must sing your name.

Drunk on your moon shine, I have cranked out my pound of poesy.  With each word I make of you, I fall deeper in love with you . . . with the idea of you . . . with each word I make of you.

Each word a drop of your rich wine, smoothed in the cellar of this poet’s heart, this poet’s mind.  Smoothed or Smothered?  “Ah, there’s the rub!” (as a better bard once said).  For in the cellar is both womb and tomb: the fruit can be left in the lees.

My Idea of you verses You.  I hide Me there too.

See me here?  My out-stretched arm, pen in hand, keeping us a safe quill’s length apart.  You, weaving there amongst my words, fiercely guarding your heart.

I’m not that – that which your write” –  you parry as you take your leave.

Well, I’m not he who writes the write –  you Maenad in a Muse disguise!

Would any star, any light in my dark of night been just as bright . . . that’s the query of the ages.  Such hypotheses turn quickly to hyperbole, leaving umbrage where homage dared to stroll.

But in that cellar known only sans thought, where the lees are all umbrage and homage and self-doubt. In that small cask this thanksgiving wine is born:  for those dark nights, when it was your star shone bright, and the Wind and the Wine whispered “Felicia”.

from Bottled Poetry: Verses From The Vine, edited by Stephen H. Bass (Robinsonville, MS: Spilt Wine Publishing Co., 2013).  © 2013 Stephen H. Bass. All rights reserved.  Posted at with the permission of Stephen H. Bass.

S. H. Bass (b. 1956):  Stephen H. Bass is an American writer/poet.  The webmaster of vintagewinepoems.comhis  fingers are typing these words.  He will now switch to the first person - singular.

To call myself a “writer” is a heralding of avocation rather than occupation, although wielding a creative “pen in hand” has always been an ancillary part of my earning a living. While creating plans and content for the various communications needs of a business entity is not exactly the stuff of the creative writer, the challenges of simplifying the complex, enlivening the mundane, celebrating the everyday . . . this is the “stuff” of all successful communications – from the sonnet to the business memorandum.

The stereotype of the struggling young artist “waiting tables” as he plugs away at his craft in his “off-hours”, is a template that lays over my life quite nicely (if not snuggly) - for some thirty-six years now. The tables I currently wait upon are covered with green felt rather than a checkered tabled cloth, my current occupation being that of a floor supervisor in the table games department of a casino.   Other tables I have “waited on” include the retail sales counter, the salesman’s cubbyhole, and the manager’s desk - with an extended period as a manager of a local wine shop.  As for the “struggling young artist” title:  I am still “struggling”, along with the rest of middle-class America.  I feel young!  I am, however, old enough to realize that “artist” is a title best conveyed upon one rather than claimed for oneself. 

I have some things to say:  some thoughts to share, some stories to tell - you should be hearing from me.  is but a whisper, a “Psst - hey buddy . . . .” from a darkened alleyway. 
- S. H. Bass   

Stephen H. Bass On The Web:

lnk to

Stephen H. Bass at AMAZON

  by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  with an introduction and notes by Stephen H. Bass

  Plus Sonnets from the Porte-Cochère
   by S. H. Bass


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