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                          Pirene's Fountain
                      A Journal of Poetry—Beverage Anthology

In the lore of Greek myths, naiad Pirene was grief-stricken by the death of her son, Cenchrias. She dissolved into a fountain of tears outside the gates of Corinth. It was said the essence of a naiad was tied to her spring; she could no longer exist if the spring dried up, as is often the case with inspiration and poetry. Pirene’s fountain was one of three springs associated with Pegasus, and was sacred to the muses, who drank of the waters for fresh inspiration.


At Pirene’s Fountain, it is our hope that we can share of each other’s knowledge, and in the spirit of Ancora Imparo –“ I am still learning,” open our hearts and minds to inspiration.

Thirst is a primal need second only to breathing. Since our bodies are made up of over seventy percent water, it is essential for hydration and good health. Water is the true elixir of life, for without it, life would cease to exist. Water performs a multitude of functions and is one of earth’s most precious natural resources. Next in importance is milk, a vital liquid for mammalian infants, consumed both as a fluid and food. Aside from its high nutritive value as a beverage, milk is also used to produce foods like yogurt, cheese, cream and butter. Over time, and for various reasons including the unavailability of a clean water supply, humans discovered and invented a staggering variety of beverages. In the Eastern world, tea is a universal panacea: some civilizations prize teas for their medicinal value and hold elaborate tea ceremonies. Hot chocolate has been a popular drink in the western world, especially with children.  It is believed the Olmecs and Mayans were probably the first users of cacao. Coffee houses flourished in Europe spawning a culture of their own. While coffee with its high caffeine content is used for perking up and sharpening the mind, chamomile tisanes and warm milk with honey are used for inducing sleep. For those who enjoy the taste and aroma of coffee but cannot tolerate its strength, decaf varieties are now freely available.

Fermented fruit and grain beverages have been around for centuries. Beer was made in ancient Egypt, wine in Rome and ale in Europe. Wine and beer were used for social interaction, celebrations and trade. Before the invention of anesthetics, alcohol and opiates were used to dull the senses during painful procedures. In the ancient Indian text Rigveda, references have been made to a fermented beverage, Soma, an intoxicant apparently consumed not only by gods, but even poets when composing their work. With the modern refinement of distilleries and wineries, today spirits, wines, liquors and beers are consumed for social drinking and form a core component of fine dining. Ever since refrigeration has made it possible to freeze water into ice, a cool drink in summer has become an irresistible pleasure. Lemonade and soft drinks are attractive to children who enjoy the sweet taste and fruity flavors. Whatever type of drink one favors, beverages play an important part in our daily rituals by quenching thirst, cooling or heating the body, stimulating or calming the nervous system, bringing comfort, and by their use in social functions and celebrations.

“What makes the desert beautiful,” said the little prince, “is that somewhere it hides a well.”
~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry,

“And I should raise in the east
A glass of water
Where any-angled light
Would congregate endlessly.”

~Philip Larkin, from “Water”

“By means of water, we give life to everything.”
~Koran, 21:30