Occasional blogging, mostly of the long-form variety.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Advice to My Son

I've liked this poem ever since I was introduced to it back in high school. (For a class presentation on it, two other guys and I did a little skit riffing on Polonius' advice to Laertes from Hamlet and a Reeses' Peanut Butter Cup ad. It worked surprisingly well.) In any case, this seemed like a good pick for the season.

Advice to My Son
By J. Peter Meinke

The trick is, to live your day
as if each one may be your last

(for they go fast, and young men lose their lives
in strange and unimaginable ways)
but at the same time, plan long range
(for they go slow; if you survive
the shattered windshield and the bursting shell
you will arrive
at our approximation here below
of heaven or hell)

To be specific, between the peony and the rose
plant squash and spinach, turnips and tomatoes;
beauty is nectar
and nectar, in the desert, saves –
but the stomach craves stronger sustenance
than the honied vine.

Therefore, marry a pretty girl
after seeing her mother;
show your soul to one man,
work with another;
and always serve bread with your wine.

But, son,
Always serve wine.

(Cross-posted at The Blue Herald)

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