Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Poet Near Thanksgiving Praises The Pease Porridge

"pease porridge hot-
pease porridge cold-
pease porridge in the pot,
nine days old..."
-Old English Nursery Rhyme

pease porridge hot or cold
o thank you for being on sale.
thank you for always filling me up
when it's freezing

inside or out.
pease porridge please know
you are appreciated.

I remember what happened
in the Bible when the
wanderers complained about

all that manna.
oh pease porridge, you're so pretty.
if Goldlilocks came in and

you were on the table
she would have eaten
all three bowls, I'm not

kidding.
because of you I can buy
more poetry poetry poetry

because of you I can look
misfortune in the eye
and not look a bit glassy.
it's good old stick to my ribs food
grandmother said.

pease porridge you're so
classy even better than the oatmeal
Rilke said being instant was very

good for poets.  This is true.
It's in his letters.

but you're better...

mary angela douglas 19 november 2013



Note on the poem:  I do not really know what pease porridge was.  I order huge boxes of dried 15-bean soup.  It lasts forever.  And is filling and nutritious.  so I am calling it my pease porridge.  And Rilke really did say that.  At some point during his life
quick cooking oats came into the picture and I think he wrote a letter to Clara enthusing about how wonderful it was and simple to make.  It is hard to imagine dear Rilke being a cook of anything, it is true.