March 6, 2021

Drinking French Wine in Middle America

Lawrence Ferlinghetti passed away on February 22. He was 101. Among the many poems he wrote was this wonderfully descriptive one, in which wine evokes memory.

Drinking French Wine in Middle America
by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Bought a bottle of Vouvray
and poured out its bouquet
of the French countryside
on the plains of Middle America
and that fragrance
floods over me
wafts me back
to that rainy hillside
by the banks of the Loire
Vouvray tiny village
where I sat with rucksack
twenty-eight years old
seafarer student
uncorking the local bottle
with its captured scent of spring
fresh wet flowers
in first spring rain
falling lightly now
upon me-
Where gone that lonesome hiker
fugace fugitive
blindfold romantic
wanderer traumatic
in some Rimbaud illusionation-
The spring rain falls
upon the hillside flowers
lavande and coquelicots
the grey light upon them
in time’s pearly gloaming-
Where gone now
and to what homing-
Beardless ghost come back again!