Home Today's Reason to Drink November 28: Thanksgiving and Billy Blake’s B-Day

November 28: Thanksgiving and Billy Blake’s B-Day


Happy Thanksgiving! We mean it this time. You know, historians are not exactly sure what the Pilgrims and the local natives drank at the first Thanksgiving back in 1621, but they strongly suspect it was either some sort of godawful pumpkin beer or a hard cider. Give it a go. The hard cider, I mean, not the godawful pumpkin beer.  Call me crazy, but I don’t like gourds in my beer. A dry cider, on the other hand, pairs up amazingly well with turkey and the fixings, as opposed to the usual wine and beer. Also? “Tyger Tyger, burning bright, In the forests of the night; What immortal hand or eye, Could frame thy fearful symmetry?” That’s right, it’s William Blake’s Birthday. Born in 1747, the English poet, artist and printer’s achievements went largely unrecognized during his lifetime, but his body of work rose to prominence later, when the world was ready for his unique style. Inspired and jolted by a series of religious visions throughout his life, including one when God himself stuck his face in the four-year-old’s bedroom window and scared the devil out of him, perhaps literally, his strange but spellbinding paintings and poems still hold sway in today’s pop culture. That bizarre painting that inspired the serial killer in the novel Red Dragon? That was Blake’s. So, did the poet like a drink? He did. He drank porter daily, and created a bit of a scandal when he insisted on drinking his wine from a favored large tumbler instead of a proper wine glass. I personally experience that exact same prejudice. Top quote: “For I dance And drink and sing, Till some blind hand Shall brush my wing. If thought is life And strength and breath, And the want Of thought is death, Then am I A happy fly, If I live, Or if I die.”


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