O do not chasten me with tales of fine
__Fresh wells of wisdom and of warriors bold,
__Or sacred veins of Ethiopian gold,
Your more than oracles or muses nine,

For I’ve drunk deep of a more potent wine
__That welcomes all into its bounteous fold,
__Where worlds abundant, glorious, unrolled
In dazzling wonder till these eyes of mine

Were opened to a love embracing all,
__For ever gentle, quarreling with none.
__O I live now in valleys of the sun,
And mountains of the moon all ring this hall
__Where brightest stars in their smooth courses run
I banquet on the heart’s eternal call.

Copyright 2009, Anissa Nedzel Gage



Anissa Nedzel Gage (also known as Purrsanthema online) is a poet, as well as a fine artist, illustrator, and cartoonist. Her portraiture follows in the tradition of her grandfather: Boris Luban, a well-known portrait artist in Russia and America.

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6 Responses

  1. J. C. MacKenzie

    I’ll place this on the ever growing stack of saccharin Arcadian fantasy poems—they’re all pretty much alike.

    “more than oracle” – What is a more than oracle?

    “I’ve drunk deep… more potent wine,” The term “hackneyed” was probably invented for this verse.

    “I banquet on the heart’s eternal call…” Mixed metaphor, and what eternal call?

    “Mountains of the moon all ring this hall..” What does it mean to ring a hall? The last word is placed too closely to the filler “all” which also appears in the second stanza.

    “Ethiopian gold” is an example of what I call “costume exoticism”—best to avoid.

    • C.B. Anderson

      J. C. MacK.,

      If, in fact, it was the author’s intent to add to the stack of saccharin Arcadian fantasies, then she has succeeded admirably. After all, reality these days is not something one necessarily wants to get too close to. And I take it that you are not a big fan of Cajun food.

      What’s more than an oracle? Well, for instance, a coracle. But don’t get too far out to sea.

      More potent wine is not necessarily better wine. In any case, it’s far better to feed on honey-dew and drink the milk of Paradise.

      The eternal call is “More garlic!” or perhaps “I scream for ice cream.”

      Ringing a hall is like belling a cat, or calling someone on a dormitory telephone. Wringing a hall is what you do after a flood. Or, it is, as Gandalf might have put it, emplacing statuary representing one’s ancestors around the Hall of your Fathers.

      Ethiopian gold. Well, let’s see. If Ethiopia were known for its gold, then I think we should have known about that. Frankly, I would much rather pin my hopes on an Abyssinian maid playing a dulcimer.

  2. Jan Darling

    This is merely a comment on the wisdom of embroidering one’s criticism. Ethiopia is in fact known for gold – it is the site of what is thought to be the oldest goldmine in the world – 6,000 years ago it was supplying the royal temples and palaces of the Ancient Empires. Recently huge new deposits have been located in the same region.

    • C.B. Anderson

      Yes, and yet all mining there is currently only 1% of their GDP. So let’s leave it as “costume exoticism.”


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