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vintagewinepoems.com Themes:  Defending and Praising Wine

Wine is amorous, gregarious, auspicious, delicious, propitious, faithful, blessed . . . a truth serum, memory cleanser, mind focus-er, love potion . . . a curer of headache, heartache, backache . . . bearer of truth, wit, courage, hope, love . . .and therefore, oh so taxable.

To praise wine is to defend wine, and in defending it we must often turn to praise.  The tendency to hyperbole duly noted, the following poems extol the virtues of wine, often under the sights of teetotalers, who seem to make their first appearance alongside Dionysus as he gifted the world with grape vines.  In fact, the resurgence of the wine poem in the 19th century can be credited to the growth of temperance movements in America and Europe.  For this, I guess, we owe these grape-haters a nod of thanks. (For wine poems during this period, both “pro” and “con”, see the theme
Temperance Movement)

Some of the poetry that follows is written in praise of drunkenness.  Once again noting the poet’s tendency toward hyperbole, let’s face it:  wine intoxicates.  It contains a mind altering, mood altering, motor skills altering drug:  alcohol.  I have been drunk with wine.  I will be drunk with wine again.  This will not happen tonight.  It may not happen for months, even years (doubtful) . . . but on some occasion, either by being “caught in the moment” or by design, I will get drunk.  Not falling-down, passing out drunk.  But more of what I like to call the “poet laureate of the bar” drunk, charmingly uninhibited and an embarrassment to my sober self.    

During these periods, I will not operate a motor vehicle.  I will flirt with women I shouldn’t, perhaps your wife.  (I will not get into fisticuffs for this privilege, however.)  I will say, quite loudly, both stupid and insightful things, and will defend both with equal vigor.  My friends will try to quiet me.  My good friends will egg me on.  I will not be so drunk that I cannot feign sobriety, but I will avoid sharing this skill with an officer of the law.  I will not operate a motor vehicle.


Do I, on these occasions, drink to excess?  Can one cheer too loudly for the home team?  Can one be caught up in the rapture of a sonnet, a sonata, or a sunrise to excess?  I am not talking here of a loss of control, but a loss of this daily shell in which we grind out our daily lives.  When our daily lives are under the control of the bottle, or the idolized sports team, poet, musician, or “star” . . . this is when we have a problem.  With the former, the disease is called alcoholism.  With the latter intoxications, the disease is called fanaticism.  I now direct you to  Charles Baudelaire’s prose poem
Be Drunken for further discussion.

– text adapted from Bottled Poetry: Verses from the Vine, edited by S. H. Bass


Special keys :  Now That's Funny!   Copyrighted Material     A/V  Video

Defending Wine
A Satisfactory Reform by Ellis Parker Butler 

A Vindication by Li Bai (Obata)

An Exhortation by Li Bai (Obata)

And lately, by the Tavern Door agape by Omar Khayyam (FitzGerald)   A/V

Art thou aweary, friend  by Omar Khayyam (Le Gallienne) A/V

Drinking by Abraham Cowley        

Happy returns of this good day by Hafiz (Le Gallienne)

How He Would Drink His Wine by Robert Herrick

Lay not reproach at the drunkard's door by Hafiz (Bell)  A/V

Nay! think no more, but grip the slender waist  by Omar Khayyam (Le Gallienne) A/V

Not all the sum of earthly happiness by Hafiz (Bell)  A/V

Observe when mother earth is dry  from the Odes of Anacreon by Thomas Moore

Oh Cup-bearer, set my glass afire by Hafiz (Bell) A/V

So I be written in the Book of Love  by Omar Khayyam (Le Gallienne) A/V

The secret draught of wine by Hafiz (Bell)  A/V

The Song of Right and Wrong  by G. K. Chesterton A/V

The Temptation Of Hassan Ben Khaled (excerpt)  by Bayard Taylor


Praising Wine
A Sequence In Praise Of Wine by Unknown Medieval Poet (Symonds)

A Toast by George Santayana

Amontillado by Francis Saltus Saltus

An Invitation by Alcaeus of Mytilene (Jones)  A/V

Bacchanalian by Victor Daley

Bread And Wine by Inez K. Hyland

Burgundy by Francis Saltus Saltus

Catawba Wine by Henry Wadworth Longfellow  A/V

Chambertin by Francis Saltus Saltus

Champagne Frappe by Francis Saltus Saltus

Chateau Margaux
 by Francis Saltus Saltus

Come, thou monarch of the vine by William Shakespeare A/V

Drink today and drown all sorrow by John Fletcher

Feast on wine or fast on water by G.K. Chesterton ☺ A/V

Fill The Goblet Again by Lord Byron

Geisenheimer  by Francis Saltus Saltus

He, who instructs the youthful crew from the Odes of Anacreon by Thomas Moore

I sing thy praise, Iacchus by Robert Herrick

In A Wine Cellar by Victor Daley

In Praise of Wine: A Heroic Poem by Hilare Belloc

Lachryma Christi by Francis Saltus Saltus

Let us drain the nectared bowl from the Odes of Anacreon by Thomas Moore

Mare Rebrum by Oliver Wendall Holmes

O precious crock, whose summers date by Horace (Martin)

Ode For A Social Meeting by Oliver Wendell Holmes 

Ode To White Zinfandel by S. H. Bass

On The Excellence of Burgundy Wine by Hilaire Belloc

Once more red wine by Hafiz (Le Gallienne)

Over the past year, I have given up by Cecco Angiolieri  (Bass)   

Port by Francis Saltus Saltus

Press the grape and let it pour  by Thomas Moore

Rhine wine  by Matthias Claudius

Sicilian Wine  by Bayard Taylor

Singer, sweet Singer, fresh notes strew by Hafiz (Bell) A/V

So great a brightness is the soul of wine  by Omar Khayyam (Le Gallienne) A/V

The Abbot of the Wine-House by Hafiz (Le Gallienne)

The Bottles and The Wine by George Santayana

The Harper's Songs by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Carlyle)

The Origin Of Wine by John Godfrey Saxe

The Soul Of Wine by Charles Baudelaire (Sturm)

The Spirit of Wine by William Henley

The wine is bottled poetry by Robert Louis Stevenson

There are no sorrows wine cannot allay  by Omar Khayyam (Le Gallienne) A/V

Tokai  by Francis Saltus Saltus

ViniVitiVici by Anthony Beal  

What ails thee, Saki! by Hafiz (Le Gallienne)

When Bacchus, Jove's immortal boy  from Odes of Anacreon by Thomas Moore

When my thirsty soul I steep from Odes of Anacreon by Thomas Moore

When wine I quaff, before my eyes from Odes of Anacreon by Thomas Moore

Wine is . . . by S. H. Bass

Wine, Thy Name Is Woman by S. H. Bass

Wreath The Bowl by Thomas Moore


BOTTLED POETRY: Verses from the Vine
VINTAGE WINE POEMS     NEW PRESSINGS
vinted and bottled by Stephen H. Bass
SAMPLE PAGES




Eat, Drink, and Be Merry:
Poems About Food and Drink
(Everyman's Library Pocket Poets) Hardcover $11.69
AMAZON



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