Today's heartbreak poem comes with a special twist, launching us into an examination of the role food plays in heartbreak. I would like to publicly thank fellow examiner D. B. Rhoomes, Binghamton Cookbook Examiner, for bringing this beautiful poem to my attention.
Quoting D. B. Rhoomes, she points out that "The beauty about poetry is that you can write about anything. Since you're at liberty to put pen to paper and draft just about anything, then why not food? Food, like poetry, is involved in everything; and it is true that people use food to bring together various aspects of their lives. Food is very much a part of poetry, more so than we may think." She further points out that "Some poets combine love and food as one and the same, bringing them together like a symphony of the senses."
This is the case in P.G. Wodehouse's poem, The Gourmet's Love-Song, where he chronicles and compares his love sick soul to a man dying of starvation. His poem speaks of his encounter with rejection, and no food was enticing or appealing enough to ease the pain of his broken-heart. Just as his love departed, so did his appetite for food.
Here's a link to the poem: The Gourmet's Love-Song (At that link you can also explore a few of his other poems at your leisure.) I am also including the poem here for you to feast on!
The Gourmet's Love-Song
HOW strange is Love:I am not one
who Cupid's power belittles,
For Cupid 'tis who makes me shun
My customary victuals
Of, Effie, since that painful scene
That left me broken-hearted,
My appetite, erstwhile so keen,
Has utterly departed.
My form, my friends observe with pain,
Is growing daily thinner.
Love only occupies the brain
That once could think of dinner.
Around me myriad waiters flit,
With meat and drink to ply men;
Alone, disconsolate, I sit,
And feed on thoughts of Hymen.
The kindly waiters hear my groan,
They strive to charm with curry;
They tempt me with a devilled bone --
I beg them not to worry.
Soup, whitebait, entrées, fricasees,
They bring me uninvited.
I need them not, for what are these
To one whose life is blighted?
They show me dishes rich and rare,
But ah! my pulse no joy stirs,
For savouries I've ceased to care,
I hate the thought of oysters.
They bring me roast, they bring me boiled,
But all in vain they woo me;
The waiters softly mutter, 'Foiled!'
The chef, poor man, looks gloomy.
So, Effie, turn that shell-like ear,
Nor to my sighing close it,
You cannot doubt that I'm sincere --
This ballad surely shows it.
No longer spurn the suit I press,
Respect my agitation,
Do change your mind, and answer, 'Yes',
And save me from starvation.
Now here's a fun thought: The next time you take a bite into your favorite food, tune into what your senses are saying. Let your palate do the talking! A poem or two may be the result!
About the Poet
Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse, pen name P.G. Wodehouse, was born on October 15, 1881, and passed away on February 14, 1975. He was an English writer and poet with an impressive body of literary works, which include poems, short stories, plays, musical comedies, and novels. He also wrote song lyrics, and his work even extended to journalism.
Here's an interesting fact about P.G. Woodhouse: "Wodehouse's maternal grandmother, Louisa Elizabeth Fourdrinier, was the daughter of Sealey Fourdrinier, who invented the paper machine (also known as the Fourdrinier machine) alongside his brother, Henry" - Wikipedia