A glass of absinthe is as poetical as anything in the world, what difference is there between a glass of absinthe and a sunset.” Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Irish writer and poet

in the wilderness of those green hours
gliding with the faerie muse along café
walls virescent, sighing jonquil wings of
poetry, inventing tales in the sooty red
mystery of elusive beauty, beguiled by an
opalescent brew, tangible for the poet and
the pedestrian, the same shared illusions
breaching the rosy ramparts of heaven

Note: This poem is posted for Victoria Slotto’s Writers’ Fourth Wednesday prompt on The Bardo Group blog HERE. We invite you to join us. The prompt is about using color in our writing. 

© 2011, poem Jamie Dedes,  all rights reserved

Albert Maignan’s painting of “Green Muse” (1895) shows a poet succumbing to the green fairy (absinthe). Musée de Picardie, Amiens.


  1. Jamie, this is a perfect example of how color creates a mood. It makes me wonder–absinthe was, possibly still is, outlawed in some places. Perhaps it’s association with poetry conjures up that subversiveness that scares the established order.


    1. Thanks! It’s odd to do a poem about drinking when I never have and cetainly have never had Absinthe, but Wilde’s words made it tempting to try.

      I think you can buy it in some European countries. Apparently there was a time when the way it was made or the ingredients included were toxic. It has a sort of cultish folllowing, I think, interesting for writers and artists only because of all the writers who were so enthusiastic at one time, but then alcoholic and drug addicted creatives have always been with us. I don’t know why this has a certain romance for some. There’s probably something I’m missing.


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