Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Pablo Neruda (nee Basoalto) is in my estimation, the greatest poet of the 20th Century, who has intimate, deep relevance today. Student, teacher, editor, diplomat, politician, myth sayer, Nobelist, and most importantly, humanist.

A fiery poet of leftist politics and love, stirring both body and soul, rebellious against superficial manners and inane social customs which hide nature’s and man’s beauty and justice.

 I toast his myths, imagination and humor. I drink to his understanding of “love” and his language of every day life.

How shall I pair this word genius, this multi dimensional poet with a specific wine? Do I do him justice with the finest champagne, the most carefully constructed cognac, the most elegant and complex Chilean wine?  My words are stifled, drowned by the dramatic, sensual tsunami of his thoughts and talent.

       “I drink to the word, raising

        a word or a shining cup;

        in it I drink

       the pure wine of language……..

       ……cup and water and wine

       give rise to my song”

               from “The Word” by Neruda.

Elliot O. Lipchik


  1. I am really enjoying the pairings so far...

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  3. My take on Neruda is that he was more a man of the common man in Chile and, as such, he most likely would have revelled in a swig of "chicha" from a damajuana, or possibly a bottle of Concha y Toro or a glass of a slightly more upscale Underraga wine. In none of the above would he distance himself into the realm of the priviledged few in Chile, the uppercrusters who sipped only the finest wines. That is not to say that Neruda was unworthy of the finest that Chile then had to offer, but his soul was with the campesinos, the rotos and he most probably was inspired by the Chile Mierda! slogan of the day. Viva Chile Mierda! So when I think of his poetry, I think of the finest chicha I ever tasted when I lived in Chile, and an occasional wicked Pisco sour. Cheers, Neruda!