Aesthetic Realism Online Library Poetry by Eli Siegel

What Food Deserves: A Canticle

When our strength is spent,
There’s nothing like nourishment
To bring it back, back, back.
We go to the world again,
We eat a something, and then
We feel we’ve regained what we were.
Food can be a making of love
To the world we know.
We can go to and fro,
But we come back to food,
Waiting for us.
The idea of nourishment
Can seem prosaic, even dull;
But there is nothing less dull
Than once more to be full
Of appreciation for a physical world.
How materialistic
Is the adding of weight
To ourselves by the food we eat!
But there is something infinite to appreciate
As food becomes us.
This is fairly obvious.
The interchange of world and us
Is something truly glorious,
Though no bands are playing.
For the becoming life
By food in a state of repose
Is definitely great.
What is a greater thing to appreciate
Than the changing of food into temperament,
The changing of food into memory?—
Including memory that pains.
Hail, food, that which revives
The spirit we care for but which may droop.
Let us, then, properly
Utter a sigh
And a whoop
Heard over the world.
The becoming of the animate
Through the welcoming of the inanimate
Is a great transformation.
So in a state of seemly elation,
We hail food;
And we hope that we have a just attitude
To our great friend, food,
Though seen wrongly, it can upset.
Food, though, deserves to be seen rightly,
Ever increasingly.
And if that goes on,
The unease that many feel about food
Will have gone.
Food will be seen as grace itself.

From The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known, no. 884  © by Aesthetic Realism Foundation


Eli Siegel on Beauty | Biography | Multicultural Aesthetics | Countering the Lies | US Congressional Record
Aesthetic Realism Online Library Seal
Aesthetic Realism Foundation | Online Library | Poetry | Books | Reviews | Articles | Definition Press Books