Food for the Poets

The literary-foodie blog Paper and Salt has a newsletter from which I gleaned this tidbit of history: T.S. Eliot’s Culinary Weakness: Hot Fudge

In his letters, T. S. Eliot wrote that his favorite food memory was of duck à l’orange, but he didn’t dine on fancy French fare around the clock. Sometimes there’s only one thing that will hit the spot: a hot fudge sundae. According to his second wife, Valerie, a healthy scoop of vanilla slathered in chocolate sauce made this modernist poet a very happy guy.

If you have doubts that someone who wrote The Wasteland could enjoy the simple pleasures of a sundae, you’re not alone. In an interview with The Independent, Valerie recalled Eliot’s succinct response to his dessert critics. “He was eating it in a restaurant once and a man opposite said, ‘I can’t understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.’ Tom, with hardly a pause, said, ‘Ah, but you’re not a poet,’ and went on eating.”

7 thoughts on “Food for the Poets

  1. I love that Eliot was a hot fudge sundae man! As old Uncle Walt once wrote, “Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself. I am large, I contain multitudes.”

    Maybe when pondering Eliot and his sundaes, we should think about the Four Quartets instead of The Wasteland. Food for thought!


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ha! Funny! I love how the kids at school refer to poets and how they will recognize themselves as poets soon. This is the first year that I've had sixth graders who seem quite fascinated with poems. It's fun!


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