Pascoli’s “Three Grapes” at Poetry Daily

My thanks to the editors of Poetry Daily, who have chosen “Three Grapes,” my translation of an 1892 epigram by Giovanni Pascoli, from the collection Last Dream, as today’s poem of the day.

Over the years I’ve stumbled across two ancient sources that may have inspired the poem’s imagery: Scythian philosopher Anacharsis is said to have said that vines bore three kinds of grapes: the first pleasure, the second drunkenness, and the third disgust; and a character in a play by Athenian poet Eubulus recommends stopping after three glasses of wine: the first is for health, the second for pleasure, and the third for sleep.

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