Wine as a perfect metaphor for poetry, with the same nature, alchemy and effects. Both can make you heady, or be heart-warming, comforting, or rousing. I don’t think poetry makes people fall over, however.

‘Wine and poetry are quite alike in their natures and their effects.  Both are the result of a sort of alchemy: ordinary common or garden words, the rough currency of conversation, are transformed in poetry into immortal phrases and lines.  The mysteries of fermentation and aging turn grape juice, a fairly unmagical substance, into something that can live as long as a human being, and share human complexity.  Above all, wine and poetry share a god.’

See also the quote-mosaic review of Harry Eyres’ splendid book on the charm and continuing relevance of Horace.


Source: Harry Eyres, Horace and Me: Life Lessons from an Ancient Poet (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013), p. 48


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