Thursday, August 25, 2011

Revisited: You Are What You Eat

This is a reprise of a post I put up on August 25 of 2008. Hey, I've picked up a couple of readers since then and JUST MAYBE they had never seen this one. Heck, I shoulda kept my mouth shut...maybe neither of you would have noticed...

In the past few weeks, the dietary habits of some Olympic athletes have been of interest; Michael Phelps with his 12,500 calories per day, Russian gymnasts eating only half a kernel of wheat and 3 gallons of water.

It brought to mind a poem that I read years ago, but only bits and pieces could be brought to the front of my mind...

But regular life marches on, and I was fogging for mosquitoes at my sister’s house on Sunday, and after I finished, she we stood around and talked for awhile.

As we talked my eyes fell upon an old volume of “Best Loved Poems of the American People”. I remembered that it was my grandfather’s book that I had read selections from many times. And there was that poem in there that I had remembered a couple of lines from. These few lines had haunted me for somewhere in the neighborhood of twenty five years.

Below is the entire poem, finally.


Methuselah ate what he found on his plate,
And never, as people do now,
Did he note the amount of the calorie count;
He ate it because it was chow.

He wasn’t disturbed as at dinner he sat,
Devouring a roast or a pie,
To think it was lacking in granular fat,
Or a couple of vitamins shy.

He cheerfully chewed each species of food,
Unmindful of troubles or fears
Lest his health might be hurt
By some fancy dessert;
And he lived over nine hundred years.


The book carries a 1936 copyright, and my mother gave it to her father for Christmas, inscribed:
“Merry Christmas
To Daddyboy
From Lila” (with a little circle dotting the “I”)

My sister and I agreed to share the book back and forth to read all of those old poems again.

I'll likely eat some ice cream while doing so.


PaChomp said...

I could have written that poem. Not because I'm a poet, but because I also feel like I will have a fulfilled life if only by eating the best tasting food I can find. Of course, now I'm overweight and I just began a horrible diet and a horrible boot camp class and a horrible tae kwon do class to get in shape. Now my life is over. :(

That is a great poem. I may have to print it up and keep it at the front of my cook book. Ahem, my diet cook book.

aA said...

Thanks PaChomp! I appreciate your patronage, and am so sorry for your life decisions having to do with the "diet" and "boot camp" and "tae kwon do class"...which is actually code for "self-imposed torture based on what I think somebody thinks I should be like..." Just sayin'. :) You probably don't really look that bad, do ya?

I weigh 25X pounds and I really don't care! I do need to grow another couple of inches, but that's not totally impossible. I could always get my pituitary jumpstarted by a freak electrician-related activity gone awry, right?