22nd April, 2013 by Gabriel Stone - This article is over multiple pages: 1 2
China-based wine consultant, university professor and db contributor Edward Ragg has published his first book of poetry, which includes a tribute to Lebanon’s Chateau Musar.
Introducing his collection, A Force That Takes, Ragg explained that the poem “Chateau Musar” was inspired by a comment from its owner Serge Hochar: “We are inoculated to resist.”
“I was interested in how Hochar’s statement blends the language of vinification with notions of social and political survival,” Ragg told the drinks business.
“The poem ‘Chateau Musar’ explores ‘extreme viticulture’ not with respect to severe gradients or marginal climates, but as a means of reflecting on the sheer bravery involved in producing wine in a region marked by decades of conflict,” he continued.
In capturing this struggle, Ragg observed: “The poem follows Hochar’s lead in the sense that viticulture becomes a prism through which various forces are refracted.”
Setting his Musar poem within the wider themes of A Force That Takes, Ragg explained: “That title deliberately courts positive and negative concerns: the book being populated with poems in which forces of various sorts establish themselves but also exhaust some aspect of human life or culture.
“The Hochar family’s determination to produce wine in the war-torn Bekaa Valley chimes with the book’s overall attention to the themes of fragility and survival.”
A Force That Takes is available directly from Cinnamon Press and from major retailers with an RRP of £7.99.
Turn the page to read “Chateau Musar” in full.