February 2009

Nero d’Avola

My favorite bottle of red wine is labeled Nero d’Avola. The Sicilian name translates as Avola Black, referencing that in the past this was a much stronger and syrupy wine used to fortify weaker reds. New techniques of viticulture and harvesting have dramatically improved the wine, which is now similar to Syrah. I was introduced to Nero d’Avola visiting my daughter Amber when she lived in Sicily for a three-year research project interviewing Italian fishermen.

Cameron Penny's poem

If you are lucky in this life,
A window will appear on a battlefield between two armies.
And when the soldiers look into the window
They don’t see their enemies.
They see themselves as children.
And they stop fighting
And go home and go to sleep. When they wake up, the land is well again.

Cameron Penny's If You Are Lucky in This Life was originally published in the November/December 2001 issue of North American Review. Marie Howe reads his poem in the film Voices in Wartime.