Friday, August 26, 2011

Immortal wheat

    A collection of poetry, religious texts and notes about wheat:

". . .  Hog butcher for the world
Tool maker, stacker of wheat,
Player with railroads . . ." Carl Sandberg (1916)

from The Bacchae

"Mankind possesses two supreme blessings, First of these is the goddess Demeter, or Earth -- whichever name you choose to call her by. It was she who gave to man his nourishment of grain. But after her came the son of Semele, who matched her present by inventing liquid wine as his gift to man." Euripides (circa 407 B.C.)

The Song of Solomon, 7:2

"Thy belly is like a heap of wheat set about with lilies."

From Deuteronomy, 8:3, 8:7 - 9:
" . . .  man doth not live by bread only, but by every thing that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live. . . . 7 For the LORD thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths, springing forth in valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, and vines and fig-trees and pomegranates; a land of olive-trees and honey; a land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it;. . . "

Centuries of Meditations

"The corn was orient and immortal wheat, which never should be reaped, nor was ever sown. I thought it had stood from everlasting to everlasting." Thomas Traherne

The Merchant of Venice

"Gratiano speaks an infinite deal of nothing . . .  His reasons are as two grains of wheat hid in two bushels of chaff; you shall see all day ere you find them, and when you have them, they are not worth the search."  I, i, 114 William Shakespeare

Weevily Wheat, a folk song

Weevily Wheat

From all over. This version collected by RG from an "heroic
monotone" named Alan Shulman in 1953.

I don't want none of your weevily wheat
I don't want none of your barley,
I want some flour and half an hour
To bake a cake for Charlie.

Charlie's neat and Charlie's sweet
And Charlie, he's a dandy,
He loves to hug and kiss the girls
And feed them sugar candy.

Over the river and through the trees
Over the river to Charlie,
Over the river to feed my sheep
On buckwheat cakes and barley.
Coffee grows on white oak trees
Rivers flow with brandy,
I've got a pretty little blue-eyed gal
Sweet as 'lasses candy.

Mama's gone to Harlem town
Papa's gone to Dover,
Sister's wore her slippers out
A-kickin Charlie over.

Take her by her lily-white hand
Lead her like a pigeon,
Make her dance the weevily wheat
'Til she loses her religion.

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