Review: ‘The Bean Eaters’ by Gwendolyn Brooks

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Shadows of an eclipse through the leaves.

“They eat beans mostly, this old yellow pair.

Dinner is a casual affair.

Plane chipware on a plain and creaking wood,

Tin flatware.

Two who are mostly good.

Two who have lived their day,

but keep putting on their clothes

and putting things away….”

This is a part of Gwendolyn Brooks 1960 poem.

She became the poet Laureate of Illinois.

I don’t know much about her, but the fly on the wall observation of old age is riveting.

The poem gives us a keyhole view of how our own essential humanity has us going through the motions of living for the sheer joy of it and the joy of the company of a close one long after our most productive time has passed.

Peace be the Botendaddy

Gwendolyn Brooks, ‘The Bean Eaters’

from Man in the Poetic Mode, Vol. 1 at p. 58 McDougal, Littell publishers, Evanston, Illinois, 1971, Joy Zweigler, editor

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