Posts Tagged ‘Concrete Poetry’

Song of the Decanter

January 21, 2011

Another temperance themed concrete poem.

Previous examples:  The Wine Glass and Shun the Bottle.

I  transcribed  this poem (without the shape)  because the copy is pretty poor and thought it might be easier to read:


There was an old Decanter,
and its mouth was gaping wide;
the rosy wine had ebbed away
and left its crystal side;
and the wind went humming;
humming, up and down the wind it blew,
and through the reed like hollow neck
the wildest notes it blew.
I placed it in the window,
where the blast was blowing free,
and fancied that its pale mouth sang
the queerest strains to me:
“They tell me — puny conquerors!
the Plague has slain his ten,
and War his hundred thousand
of the very best of men;
but I (’twas thus the bottle spoke,)
but I have conquered more
than all your famous conquerors,
so feared and famed of yore.
Then come we youths and maidens all;
come drink from out my cup,
the beverage that dulls the brains
and burns the spirits up;
that puts to shame your conquerors
that slay their scores below;
for this has deluged millions
with the la???t?de of wo. [I can’t make that word out]
Though in the path of battles
darkest streams of blood may roll;
yet while I kill the body,
I damn the very soul.
The cholera, the plague, the sword,
such ruin never wro’t, as I,
in mirth or malice,
on the innocent HAVE BROUGHT.”

Sheboygan Mercury (Sheboygan, Wisconsin) Nov 3, 1849

The Wine Glass

March 6, 2009

Concrete poetry and temperance seemed to be a popular combination:


From the Ohio Repository (Canton, Stark County, OH) Jul 1, 1847

See another example in my previous post, “Poetry in a Bottle.”

Poetry in a Bottle

January 11, 2009

Shun the Bottle.
in your
path through
life; through
this world
of pain and
strife, eve-
ry moment
night and day, as you journey
on your way —  shun the whiskey
bottle.   Know  you  not  that  in each
one, hiddeneath the sparkling rum, lies a
deadly   serpent   there?   Brother   do   not
drink,  beware!   Shun  the   whisky   bottle.
In that bottle, too, there lies, guarded by
this  serpent’s tongue, anguish,  poverty
and  crime.   Heed   the   warning–turn
in   time.  Shun  the   whisky   bottle.
Oh! the woe, the ruined lives of the
mothers andthe wives. Heed their
tears;  ok, stop and think of  the
misery caused by drink.  Shun
the whisky bottle.  Brother, if
you  wish to  find  happiness
and  peace of mind,  wealth,
contentment,       comfort,
friends, all on which suc-
cess depends–shun the
whisky bottle.  At   last
when   death   is   at   your
door,  if  you  would  live  for-
evermore, if you would gain celes-
tial prize and live with God beyond
the  skies–shun  the  whisky  bottle.

Lima News (Lima, Ohio)  May 18, 1898