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There's more philosophy in a bottle of wine than in books.
– Louis Pasteur (1822-1895)
   (French chemist/biologist)

The mere act of holding a wine goblet in hand, reminiscent of an orb, a tiny replica of the earth itself, invites philosophical musings.  Perhaps wine is a companion of deep thought because wine is of the earth as we are of the earth, with a shared tale of heavenly roots and the intervention of gods.  Then again, perhaps it is the nature of a glass of fine wine itself that gives us pause, a wine whose depth and character challenges the drinker to mirror the same in his own thoughts and deeds.  Or, perhaps, just maybe, it is the alcohol.

In the wine poems below, you will find a wide range of topics for your consideration.  Spiritual matters, from both traditional and avant-garde perspectives, will be encountered.  Observations about life:  the hopes, joys, fears, and fate of our existence, will be offered for your consideration.  You will even find a philosophical mini-treatise or two, including one about the necessity of drunkeness.

These wine poems, not all alcohol-induced, range from the silly to the profound.  In microcosm, deciphering where each wine poem resides along this profundity scale is the work of philosophy.  I, therefore, will leave this task to your own "wine musings".

- 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

A Bacchic Ode by Bayard Taylor

A Blockhead by Amy Lowell A/V

A Draught Of Sunshine by John Keats

And not a drop that from our Cups we throw by Omar Khayyam (FitzGerald)  A/V

And This I Know; Whether The One True Light by Omar Khayyam (FitzGerald)    A/V

And what should pious Khayyam have to do  by Omar Khayyam (Le Gallienne) A/V

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

Bacchus by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Be Drunken by Charles Baudelaire (Symons)

Bread And Wine by Elizabeth Reeve Cutter

Cana by James Freeman Clarke   A/V

Come, Send Round The Wine by Thomas Moore

Comrades by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

... cup in hand among the flowers  by Omar Khayyam (Le Gallienne)

Day and Night by Victor Daley

Distrust by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Drinking Alone On The Rock by Li Bai (Lowell)

Fair Hope . . . by Abraham Cowley

Fill A Glass With Golden Wine by William Henley

Fishing In The Wei River by Bai Juyi (Waley)

Good Hope by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Happiness by Amy Lowell A/V

Here is the creed of Omar  by Omar Khayyam (Le Gallienne)  A/V

Hymn To Beauty by Charles Baudelaire (Bass)  

I bring an unaccustomed wine by Emily Dickinson

I had been hungry all the years by Emily Dickinson

I taste a liquor never brewed by Emily Dickinson

In the quiet of the morning I heard a knock at my door  by Tao Yuanming (Waley)

Invocation by Clara Shanafelt  A/V

Iron Wine by Lola Ridge

Lines Inscribed Upon A Cup Formed From A Skull by Lord Byron A/V

Lucy Ashton's Song by Sir Walter Scott    A/V

Mirth, Spring, to linger in a garden fair by Hafiz (Bell)  A/V

My days are filled with wonder and with wine  by Omar Khayyam (Le Gallienne) A/V

Ne'er talk of Wisdom's gloomy schools by Thomas Moore

O you mad, you superbly drunk! by Rabindranath Tagore

Ode To A Nightingale by John Keats   A/V

Past and Future by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Praise the generous gods for giving by William Henley

Sonnet Upon God, The Wine Giver by Hilaire Belloc

Substance, Shadow, and Spirit by T'ao Yuanming (Waley)

Sweetheart Summer by Vachel Lindsay

The bird of gardens sang unto the rose  by Hafiz (Bell)   A/V

The Book of Joy  by Omar Khayyam (Le Gallienne)  A/V

The Day's Ration by Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Explanation by Rudyard Kipling

The Goblet  by Bayard Taylor

The Goal by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

The Inn Of Earth by Sara Teasdale

The Mote by Bliss Carman and Richard Hovey

The Mystic by Witter Bynner

The rose has flushed red  by Hafiz (Bell)   A/V

The sixtieth cup makes me so wise with wine  by Omar Khayyam (Le Gallienne) A/V

The Sun Cup by Archibald Lampman

The Vineyard Saint by Bayard Taylor

The Wine by Sara Teasdale

To Althea From Prison by Richard Lovelace   A/V

To His Brother Hsing-Chien by Bai Juyi (Waley)

To our Lord, upon the Water Made Wine by Richard Crashaw

Waste not your Hour by Omar Khayyam (FitzGerald)    A/V

What is wrought in the forge  by Hafiz (Bell)  A/V

What purpose think you has the Saki there  by Omar Khayyam (Le Gallienne) A/V

Where is my ruined life by Hafiz (Bell)  A/V

Which by Corinne Robinson

Who never wanted, -- maddest joy by Emily Dickinson

Wine Knows No Winter by S. H. Bass 

Within the haunted wine-cup  by Omar Khayyam (Le Gallienne) A/V

With last night’s wine still singing by Hafiz (Le Gallienne) A/V

Wont And Done by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Bowring)

Write it in wine upon a rose-leaved scroll  by Omar Khayyam (Le Gallienne) A/V

Yea! what is man   by Omar Khayyam (Le Gallienne) A/V

Verses from the Vine

vinted and bottled by Stephen H. Bass

click image to enlarge

"There's more philosophy in a bottle of wine than in books"  
                         - Louis Pastuer

"Be Drunk.  Drunk with what?  With wine, with poetry or with virtue -- as you will.  But be Drunk"       -Charles Baudelaire
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