Poetry and wine go together like strawbs and cream, like flesh and bone, like Romeo and Juliet. It’s wonderful to sit down and write, read or listen with a glass of ruby red, or crisp white, in hand… And the love affair between the two has already been well-documented, with many poets writing about the wonders of wine itself.
While I do love the odd glass, however, I also know a fair few poets/people who don’t drink alcohol at all, or who drink very little. Creativity and alcohol might seem to be a good mix, but in my experience creativity is in no way dependent upon any external, material substance. It might ease you into ‘that place’ (somewhere, inside) if you have a glass of vino, or whatever else you fancy – but certainly it’s not necessary. There are other ways to relax and get to the same spot, really.
And, I feel it’s a mistake to think that you can only be creative IF you drink or smoke etc. That seems disrespectful to what creativity is, in a way, which, to me, is the ability to swim and seek words/images/inspiration in the depths of your own soul. Whether an artist drinks or not, is irrelevant – in fact, after a point, I have found alcohol to inhibit creativity. Alcohol is a depressant which, over time, can lower the amount of serotonin in the brain, and its long-term use, I discovered (when I was younger), was to inhibit my creative tendencies. Certainly, I find I am better able to work without it.
If alcohol helps you lose your inhibitions, well, there are other ways to do that. I meditate, muse, mull – I go for calming, endorphin-imbuing walks – I play word-games and joke and muck about, having fun with language is a great way to get into creative gear (not gear of that sort, though!).
And, I do enjoy the odd glass of wine, here and there, and agree it is a goodly, gorgeous thing. So, here is a poem in celebration of the stuff, written by the poet and artist who designed my first book cover, Norris Nuvo.
Wine-time is when the clock strikes wine, then open a bottle and pour
The cares of the day just fall away and your worries all walk out the door
And then when you dine, drink some more wine to aid with your mood and digestion
And after the meal, if you so feel, then may I make a suggestion?
Drink wine from a glass, a goblet, a tumbler, a mug, a cup or a bucket
And soon nothing matters, nothing at all, so have some more wine and say f**k it!
by Norris Nuvo
Drink sensibly, everyone! And, Merry Christmas! xxx