Guest poem sent in by Aseem
(Poem #1743) I Taste a Liquor Never Brewed
I taste a liquor never brewed, From tankards scooped in pearl; Not all the vats upon the Rhine Yield such an alcohol! Inebriate of air am I, And debauchee of dew, Reeling, through endless summer days, From inns of molten blue. When landlords turn the drunken bee Out of the foxglove's door, When butterflies renounce their drams, I shall but drink the more! Till seraphs swing their snowy hats, And saints to windows run, To see the little tippler Leaning against the sun!
Just a quick response to Zen's tea poem [Poem #1743] (which, incidentally, I have absolutely no memory of ever sending her). Figured if we were doing poems about drinking and beverages more generally (I sense a theme coming on - Martin / Thomas?) we can't do without including this little marvel of a poem. Today's poem is not, emphatically, one of Dickinson's best. Some of the lines border on trite and the overall effect is of something light and harmless, the intense power that I love Dickinson for is missing. But it's precisely this frothiness that makes this poem such a delightful read. Poetry really doesn't get sweeter and happier than this - to read these 16 lines is to experience the very giddiness that Dickinson is trying to describe. There are some exquisite phrases here "Inebriate of air am I / and debauchee of dew" and "inns of molten blue" and Dickinson's quicksilver lines create a sense of footsteps dancing lightly through across the page which is simply exquisite. This is a poem one could truly get drunk on. Aseem Other suggested reading on minstrels: John Agard's Coffee in Heaven [Poem #1071] (another poem we owe to Zen - you're really obsessed, aren't you?) Vikram Seth's Sit [Poem #966] Harold Monro's Milk for the Cat [Poem #727] Rumi's The Tavern [Poem #514] Harivansh Rai Bacchan's Madhusala [Poem #72] Omar Khayyam's Rubaiyat (extract) [Poem #162]