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What Makes a Poem

David Solway


The barley
    and the manner of its malting
    its standing up to the wind
    its sprouting and drying
    its gradual ripening

The water
    and the manner of its flowing
    traces of peat and mineral
    its floral and honey notes

The mash tun
    and the manner of the yeasting
    where malt and water mix
    starch turning to sugar
    the draining of the wort

The still
    and the manner of its tending
    its shape—column or pot—
    the ancient skill of the coppersmith

The cask
    and the manner of its keeping
    the flavors of the wood
    the subtle art of the cooper
    its tempering of sublimities

Time
    and the manner of its passing
    of its passing

The maltmaster
    and the manner of his knowing
    the manner of his loving
    the grain, the water, the copper, the wood,
    and the slow ferment of years.



David Solway's works copyright © to the author.


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