Friday, June 18, 2010

Poetry Friday -- Boiled Eggs

photo by Allie's Dad

A Quiet Life
by Baron Wormser

What a person desires in life
is a properly boiled egg.

This isn't as easy as it seems.

There must be gas and a stove,
the gas requires pipelines, mastodon drills,
banks that dispense the lozenge of capital.

There must be a pot, the product of mines
and furnaces and factories,
of dim early mornings and night-owl shifts,
of women in kerchiefs and men with
sweat-soaked hair.

Then water, the stuff of clouds and skies
and God knows what causes it to happen.
There seems always too much or too little
of it and more pipelines, meters, pumping
stations, towers, tanks.

And salt--a miracle of the first order,
the ace in any argument for God.
Only God could have imagined from
nothingness the pang of salt.

(the rest of the poem is at The Writer's Almanac)

For more perfectly boiled poems (with salt), you'll find the roundup at Two Writing Teachers.

Speaking of roundups, the code for July-December is complete. Let me know if you'd like me to send it to you so you can have the roundup schedule on your blog.


  1. Thank you, Mary Lee, for breakfast; this morning I will appreciate the water, the gas, the stove, the salt. All thanks to you! May your summer days ahead be full of such peace and quiet joy.
    ps - May I please have the PF code?

  2. Great poem! And what a neat idea to use in the classroom--follow everything back to its bare essentials! Would you be able to send me the code? Send to dianemayr(at)dianemayr(dot)com. Thanks!

  3. This poem reminds me of the scene in Angela's Ashes where a boy invites Frank and his brother home for lunch, then eats a hard boiled egg without offering one. And they're so hungry that the egg seems magical.

  4. Mary Lee,

    This poem is so relaxing. To me, great riches are a lamp, a potato, and a book. And the pinnacle of existence is when my New England Astor blooms and the butterflies come to visit.

    There are so many good things on earth!

    Laura Evans

  5. I love this poem. You had me at the first line. Love the progression. It has me thinking about lots of other things, all taken for granted. Thanks for the perfectly boiled post :).

  6. I love this poem, and posted it for Poetry Friday once myself.

  7. Anonymous8:02 AM

    The poem is great, as are the photos.

    BTW: The round-up is live

    Thanks for letting us host.

  8. I'm glad you all enjoyed this poem. It reminds me of the picture book AGATHA'S FEATHER BED by Carmen Agra Deedy, with its refrain, "everything comes from something."

    Stacey, just a small point of clarification: I don't LET people host the roundup, I just gather volunteers and make the schedule! I'm a clerical worker, not The Decider. :-)

  9. Nothing is really as simple as we think...and yet there's beauty in all we wish for. Thanks for reminding me of this. I enjoyed the poem, especially

    the gas requires pipelines, mastodon drills,
    banks that dispense the lozenge of capital.


    It should be quiet, so quiet you can hear
    the chicken, a creature usually mocked as a type
    of fool, a cluck chained to the chore of her body.

    and that ending. Ha!


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