March 3, 2007

I remember that night
When I was dumbstruck
by her taste, by her sight

Oh the games she played
With my mind and body
I was lost and swayed

How nice it was to hold her up
Bring her to my lips
And to slaver on her cup

Her ruby colour blinds my sight
Her fragrance is sweet
Her radiance is ever bright

I drink only the best
The best of liquor and wine
and I only drink with the best

A fay materialised
Beside me at the bar
And before I realised

She was to share my cup
“You are worthy of it
Don’t tarry, drink up!”

Abu Nuwas 1In this poem I try to emulate the famous Abbâsid wine poet Abû Nuwâs. I describe wine as if I am describing a girl. At the end of the description I startle the reader by saying “I slaver on her cup”. Then I clarify that it is red wine that I am talking about. I make an abrupt shift in subject, like Abû Nuwâs does, by talking about a girl. I close off the poem with a quote or an exclamation that breaks out of the poetic framework, again in the tradition of Abû Nuwâs.


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