Image by James Clarke

O Taste and See

O Taste and See

Because of a kiss on the forehead
in the long Night's infirmary,
through the red wine let light shine deep.

Because of the thirtysix just men
that so stealthily roam this earth
raise high the glass and do not weep.

Who says the world is not a wedding?
Couples, in their oases, lullabye.
Let glass be full before they sleep.

Toast all that which seems to vanish
like a rainbow stared at, those bright
truant things that will not keep;

and ignorance of the last night
of our lives, its famished breathing.
Then, in the red wine, taste the light.


from New and Collected Poems (Hutchinson, 2003), copyright © Dannie Abse 2003, used by permission of the author

Recordings

Dannie Abse Reading from his Poems

1Epithalamion

2Photograph and White Tulips

3Mysteries

4Hunt the thimble

5Horse

6Return to Cardiff

7Cousin Sidney

8A new diary

9Not Adlestrop

10Snake

11The Relic

12Pathology of colours

13Peachstone

14In the theatre

15Tuberculosis

16Pantomime diseases

17O Taste and See

18Refugee

19Meurig Dafydd to his Mistress

20Lament of Heledd

21Touch Wood

22A Letter from Ogmore-by-Sea

23Last Words

Books by Dannie Abse