a lack of biscuits

blue hyacinth close up
When I tweeted that my 888th blog post featured poetry and hyacinths, I was reminded of the quotation:

Poetry is the synthesis of hyacinths and biscuits.

but I couldn’t remember who said it.

Knowing I’d kept it as one of a whole list of poetry-associated quotations, I searched my computer for hyacinths.

It turns out it was Carl Sandburg, though further investigation online suggests he may actually have used the subtly different phrase:

poetry is the achievement of the synthesis of hyacinths and biscuits.

The search for hyacinths also turned up the forgotten draft of a poem.
Continue reading “a lack of biscuits”

not by bread alone

If of thy worldly goods thou art bereft
and of the store two loaves alone are left,
sell one and with the dole
buy hyacinths to feed the soul.

blue hyacinths

I seem to have known that verse all my life, and always associated it with the phrase “Man shall not live by bread alone.” Of course the latter is from the Bible; the verse, it seems, is by Rumi. Presumably the original wasn’t written in English, which would account for the variations I found when I went looking to see where it came from.
Continue reading “not by bread alone”

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