“The Courting Rituals of Champagne Bottles” by Mayte Taipe

Mayte Taipe (age 14)


Champagne falls in love all the time
With wine glasses, that are supposed
To be in love with grapes,
With corks and seals and the cellar.
They steal hearts as easily
As they steal the show at dinner.

But times were hard,
And such luxuries were difficult
To come by. The last bottles
Had been lounging in the cellar
For roughly two years.
And the family had decided
Not to drink but to sell.

The daughter
Did not agree.
Sneaking down in the late hours
Of the night, struggling with the cork,
Cursing when it popped.
Not bothering with a glass.

And oh, how the champagne
Fell for her. Not a second thought before it fell
Cork over punt.

The night and early morning wore on.
Each hour,
There was less of it that loved her,
And more of it that knew her.
None of her that knew it.

How content it was to be drunk
By his barely known beloved.

from 2018 Rattle Young Poets Anthology


Why do you like to write poetry?

Mayte Taipe: “Up until I was about thirteen, I had no interest in poetry. I, like some people, thought that poetry was unnecessary, difficult, and just a fancy way of articulating something simple. That all changed for me when I actually began studying poetry and approached it from an academic point of view, and not that of the average teenager. These days I have a lot more respect for poetry, and I prioritize it above fiction and creative nonfiction. I enjoy writing it because the art form challenges me as a person and as a writer. To elaborate, there is so much I want to say, but so little of that I am able to actually speak or put forth publicly in a way that conveys my emotions and thoughts to other people. Poetry gave me a method of taking everything that troubled or confused my soul out and depositing it onto a page. I learned how to organize all of this in a way that both my reader and I could understand, and that in turn helped me to deal with some of my own issues. That’s why poetry is so close to my heart—without it, I wouldn’t have a way of making sense of who I currently am.”

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