Winter 1979 • Vol. I No. 1 PoetryJanuary 1, 1979 |

Blue Wine

for Saul Steinberg 1 The winemaker worries over his casks, as the dark juice Inside them broods on its own sleep, its ferment of dreaming Which will turn out to have been a slow waking after all, All that time. This would be true of the red wine or the white, But a look inside these barrels of the azure would show Nothing. They would be as if filled with what the sky looks like. 2 Three wise old wine people were called in once to consider The blueness of the wine. One said: "It is 'actually' not Blue; it is a profound red in the cask, but reads as blue In the only kind of light that we have to see it by." Another said: "The taste is irrelevant—whatever Its unique blend of aromas, bouquets, vinosities And so forth, the color would make it quite undrinkable." A third said nothing: he was lost in a blue study while His eyes drank deeply and his wisdom shuddered, that the wine Of generality could be so strong and so heady. 3 There are those who will maintain th

Already have an account? Login

Join KR for even more to read.

Register for a free account to read five free pieces a month from our current issue and digital archive.
Register for Free and Read This Piece



Or become a subscriber today and get complete, immediate access to our digital archives at every subscription level.
John Hollander was the author of numerous books of poetry. His first, A Crackling of Thorns, was chosen by W.H. Auden as the 1958 volume in the Yale Series of Younger Poets. He also wrote criticism, including the award-winning Rhyme's Reason: A Guide to English Verse and The Work of Poetry, and edited or coedited twenty-two collections, among them The Oxford Anthology of English Literature, and American Poetry: The Nineteenth Century. Before his death in August, 2013 he was Sterling Professor emeritus of English at Yale University.

Read More

Subscribe

Your free registration with Kenyon review incudes access to exclusive content, early access to program registration, and more.

Donate

With your support, we’ll continue 
to cultivate talent and publish extraordinary literature from diverse voices around the world.