"Monk Testing Wine" by Antonio Casanova y EstorachThree Poems on Drinking, by C.B. Anderson The Society August 30, 2020 Beauty, Culture, Humor, Poetry 13 Comments The Angels’ Share Oh many a peer of England brews Livelier liquor than the Muse, And malt does more than Milton can To justify God’s ways to man. — A.E. Housman When whisky’s aged in oaken casks, some ullage Should be expected, for it’s only fair That higher beings get to taste their share Of spirits that a dedicated village Produced in tall curvaceous copper stills. The volatility of ethanol Through porous wooden staves is not at all Mysterious—it’s as the Good Lord wills. And by His sempiternal loving grace, The holy art and craft of distillation, Predestined from the first days of Creation, Was meant to fortify the human race. So if it happens that we drink with angels, We hope that they enjoy our company As we do theirs—with harps and tympani— And let this atmosphere be ever changeless. I Admit I’m an Alcoholic, but Since Alcoholics Are Always in Denial, I Can’t Possibly Be One I’d rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy. — Dorothy Parker Whenever I see booze I’m wont to drink it, If only for the thrill of drunken pleasure; And here is more good news: I never think it Unseemly for a bloke to quench his thirst, Regardless of the bill for sunken treasure He’ll owe when he is broke and at his worst. Already I’ve confessed that I’m a drunk Who loves to celebrate each bitter ending, But I will do my bestest to debunk The myth that spoken truth must be good grammared, And I won’t hesitate to keep defending My right to be uncouth when I am hammered. First published in Trinacria On the Cutting Room Floor Are snippets from the recent past: Relationships that didn’t last, The promos for a canceled tour, Deleted scenes, and much much more. In Hollywood the status quo Is framed by critics in the know, And every word from every star Dissembles who they truly are. In headlines from the tabloid press Are sins to which they won’t confess And sordid details of their lives Disclosed by bitter former wives. The idols of the silver screen Are always something in between The rumors and established fact. The bottom line is, Can they act? In haste we judge, but let’s be fair: A celebrated millionaire Is not much worse at knowing right From wrong than any other wight. C.B. Anderson was the longtime gardener for the PBS television series, The Victory Garden. Hundreds of his poems have appeared in scores of print and electronic journals out of North America, Great Britain, Ireland, Austria, Australia and India. His collection, Mortal Soup and the Blue Yonder was published in 2013 by White Violet Press NOTE: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 13 Responses Julian D. Woodruff August 30, 2020 Uncouth forsooth. Just as long as it’s Smooooth! Reply C.B. Anderson August 30, 2020 Julian, I agree completely. Reply Joseph S. Salemi August 30, 2020 These three poems are absolutely flawless gems. They show the intelligence, craft, and sheer professional excellence that I always expect from Kip Anderson. And God bless all wines, liquors, beers, and cordials! We should all drink a lot more of them. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant August 30, 2020 Dr. Salemi, contrary to your advice, Mike and I have decided not to drink any more… of course, we’re definitely not going to drink any less either. Reply C.B. Anderson August 30, 2020 Susan, That’s the spirit! Jeff Eardley September 3, 2020 I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy. C.B. Anderson August 30, 2020 You might say, Joseph, that this was an exceptionally Trinacrian post. Cheers! Reply David Watt August 31, 2020 C.B., the title and text of your first poem are a perfect pairing. You have proved in the space of sixteen lines that whisky is a heavenly drink. I don’t know if “the bill for sunken treasure” is an Anderson original, but it hits the spot. Reply C.B. Anderson August 31, 2020 There are good reasons, David, why whisk(e)y is referred to as spirits. In fact, the word “whisk(e)y” itself comes from the Gaelic word “uisge” from a longer noun phrase that means “water of life.” “Vodka” is derived from “voda,” a Slavic word for “water.” And of course there’s aquavit and so on. Reply David Watt September 3, 2020 Thanks C.B. for explaining the Gaelic origin of the word “whisk(e)y”. It’s truly the water of life. I had heard from my wife that the name vodka is derived from “voda”, and also that there is only one correct percentage of alcohol for ‘genuine’ vodka. Joseph S. Salemi September 4, 2020 “Vodka” in Russian is a diminutive, meaning “small water,” or “little water.” The idea is that the fermentation process begins with a large quantity of liquid, but ends up with a much smaller quantity of finished spirits. Susan Jarvis Bryant September 20, 2020 C.B., I stumbled upon this quotation and thought of you: “No poems can please for long or live that are written by water drinkers” – Horace On the strength of Horace’s observation, I’m off to uncork a bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape before picking up my pen. 🙂 Reply Julian D. Woodruff September 20, 2020 Susan, For you, C.B., and any who may be interested, Adrian Willaert made a test piece for singers in setting a Horace poem (ode?) “Quid non ebrietas.” There’s also a charming part-song by Haydn, on Lessing’s “Die Beredsamkeit” (beginning and ending “Freunde, Wasser machet stumm”). Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.