Lola Ridge (1873-1941), Australian/American poet
The ore in the crucible is pungent, smelling like acrid wine,
It is dusky red, like the ebb of poppies,
And purple, like the blood of elderberries.
Surely it is a strong wine - juice distilled of the fierce iron.
I am drunk of its fumes.
I feel its fiery flux
Working some strange alchemy . . .
So that I turn aside from the goodly board,
So that I look askance upon the common cup,
And from the mouths of crucibles
Suck forth the acrid sap.
From The Ghetto and Other Poems (1918)
courtesy of vintagewinepoems.com