Poem as meal

A few weeks ago I enjoyed dinner with new friends.

The evening progressed, as these things often do, from drinks to banter to dinner at a well-appointed table. Relaxed and chatty, we settled into our seats. At each setting was a palm-size poem.

My heart fluttered — how perfect! how satisfying! A poem meal was mine! Our hostess read the poem and a grateful hush fell upon the room. The delicious dinner tasted even better under poetic influence.

The other day, I pulled on my jeans and in the back pocket I found the poem. How lovely to taste the memory of food, friends and poetry. 


Czeslaw Milosz

Love means to learn to look at yourself
The way one looks at distant things
For you are only one thing among many.
And whoever sees that way heals his heart,
Without knowing it, from various ills—
A bird and a tree say to him: Friend.

Then he wants to use himself and things
So that they stand in the glow of ripeness.
It doesn't matter whether he knows what he serves:
Who serves best doesn't always understand.