I don’t know much about poetry let alone Valentine’s Day poems. Well, not poems about the (constructed) holiday. But ones that would be thoughtful, contemplative, and non-corny. You know, that would impress your significant other. Or impress yourself.
Luckily, I know Annelies from The Food Poet. We somewhat recently reconnected at the International Food Blogger Conference (IFBC) in Seattle, and talked about doing a little poetry and wine collaboration. I’d like to say that when we talked at IFBC in September, we had a clever plan to let this idea simmer until right before Valentine’s Day, but, full disclosure, that was not the case. I, however, chalk it up to serendipity that it should happen on the approach of this holiday of romance.
UPDATE 2/6/16: Please buy Annelies’ cookbook: Steeped: Recipes Infused With Tea. (I did. No pressure. It’s all-vegetarian, too.)
Valentine’s Day Poems
The plan: Pick four locations (three countries and one state) and provide four recommendations. Representative of each place, Annelies selects the work of a poet and I suggest a sparkling rosé.
Please read Annelies’ extended thoughts on each book. Not only does she have an MFA in Poetry, she’s a delight to spend time with and discuss a multitude of non-poetic topics with good cheer. (And possibly while enjoying a glass of wine.)
The poems: “Panic Cure: Poetry from Spain for the 20th Century”, edited and translated by Forrest Gander
This is an innovative collection of modern poems from Spain that provide the “cure” for the “panic” of cracking open tradition and venturing down a new poetic path.
The wine: Jane Ventura Reserva de la Música Rosé
Normally I’m not a fan of Spain’s still rosés made from the Garnacha (Grenache) grape. I find them too dark and heavy. But this Jane Ventura (though quite dark) is a lovely, impressive wine with a beautiful label to boot.
The poems: “Illuminations” by Arthur Rimbaud, translated by John Ashbery
This was his last manuscript of poems he gave his former lover Paul Verlaine thinking he might try and get them published, but instead Verlaine has been known to have complained about the postage of the packet. Lush, lovely poems that read quite differently from the others in this collection.
Textbook pale, elegant sparkling rosé, just in case you need some extra emotion on Valentine’s Day. But you’ve got that covered, right?
The poems: “Listening Long and Late” by Peter Everwine
I couldn’t resist. I mean his name has wine in it! but seriously, he is a storyteller and imbues such beautiful music in his poems.
The wine: Roederer Estate Brut Rosé
This sparkling wine, a California project of an esteemed Champagne house, took me by surprise at a recent sparkling wine tasting with loads of heavy-hitters present.
The poems: “Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair” by Pablo Neruda, translated by W.S. Merwin
This is a classic. Really. Almost everyone who thinks Neruda and poetry it’s because of this collection. Even people who don’t like poetry make an exception.
The Wine: Santa Digna Estelado Rosé
Made from old vine País, a grape historically relegated to bulk wine production. But since Valentine’s Day and bulk wine are two things you don’t want together, ever, experience it transformed into a wonderfully unique sparkling rosé.
So Annelies and I have practically gift-wrapped Valentine’s Day for you. No excuse not to warm the heart of that someone special in your life. And if you are single, remember that it never hurts to be well-versed when it comes to poetry and wine.
PS: Thank you for the book photo, Annelies.