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Words from Wine
Timothy Walsh

Was it from a wine press, then,
that all this flows?
That rickety wine press Gutenberg rigged
††††††††††† into a printing press,
the movable type interchangeable as grapes?
Do we owe to wine, then,
these great harvests of words
pressed into vast yields of books,
portable as bottles,
precious as spring water flowing through
††††††††††† a thirsty land?
Do we owe it all to the vine
that we shelve our books in libraries
as we cellar our wine in waiting rows,
putting up words and wine against our future need?
Was it the wine press, after all, that has made us
into such drunkards of the word
that we imbibe by the hour from folded sheets
††††††††††† of paper,
turning pages like doors that open up
fathomless spaces within ourselves?
From Wild Apples (Parallel Press, 2004).
Used with the authorís permission.

Timothy Walsh grew up in New Jersey but has spent the past three decades in Wisconsin. He currently directs the Cross-College Advising Service at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Timothy’s latest collection of poetry is When the World Was Rear-Wheel Drive: New Jersey Poems (Main Street Rag Publishing). His inspiration comes from walking or bicycling whenever he can, and being on or near the water whenever possible—­canoeing, kayaking, sailing, or sitting by the shore. He also enjoys tending a garden of roses, climbing vines, and fruit trees while the garden tends to him. Learn more about Timothy at







Post New Comment:
An unexpected conceit with a strong ending.
Posted 04/23/2011 10:20 AM
No Kindle or Nook can EVER take the place of a book! Wonderful, juicy poem, Tim! Sharon Auberle
Posted 04/23/2011 09:29 AM
I like "open up/ fathomless places within ourselves." Thank you books and wine and Timothy!
Posted 04/23/2011 07:49 AM
"that we imbibe by the hour from folded sheets / of paper..." cheers to all drunkards of the word! nice poem, tim!
Posted 04/23/2011 07:27 AM
Gary Busha:
Is Need the mother of invention? Tim's poem is excellent in that method of questioning how today we enjoy the inventions of the past. Glad to see his work.
Posted 04/23/2011 06:51 AM

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