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Excerpt from "Dining"
Edward Robert Lytton Bulwer-Lytton


We may live without poetry, music, and art;
We may live without conscience, and live without heart;
We may live without friends; we may live without books;
But civilised man cannot live without cooks.
He may live without books, what is knowledge but grieving?
He may live without hope, what is hope but deceiving?
He may live without love, what is passion but pining?
But where is the man who can live without dining?

From Lucile, Poems of Sentiment: II. Life, Dining
This poem is in the public domain.

Edward Robert Lytton Bulwer-Lytton (1831 –1891), who wrote under the name Owen Meredith, was a British diplomat and poet. Viceroy of India at one point, and ambassador to France after that, his poetry was much more popular than his politics. He grew up in a tempestuous household (both parents were very successful novelists; Edward's father originated the phrase "It was a dark and stormy night"), but seems to have found peace in his own marriage and family life.

Post New Comment:
'We cannot live without dining but after dining we need poetry,music and art to live properly'. A marvellous poem for the day.
Posted 12/06/2020 03:15 AM
My "when I'm rich" dreams have always started with, "First, I shall hire a cook". Excellent choice for today, Jayne?thank you!
Posted 12/05/2020 05:16 PM
Mama Goose:
I love it. In my family we are always excusing our need for 'comfort food.'
Posted 12/05/2020 01:28 PM
Great poetry and biography, Jayne. Of course his name is a poem in itself.
Posted 12/05/2020 01:05 PM
Bravo! Bravo! A refining edition of a dining rendition. Makes me hungry now. Randy
Posted 12/05/2020 10:41 AM
Always on my mind!!! Love this poem!
Posted 12/05/2020 09:54 AM
It is almost time for my breakfast.
Posted 12/05/2020 09:17 AM
michael escoubas:
How up-to-date is this? I'm going now to make a white sauce and add hard-boiled eggs to serve over lightly butter toast. Thanks Edward.
Posted 12/05/2020 09:11 AM
This reminded me that I need to stop reading for awhile and actually eat breakfast :)
Posted 12/05/2020 02:56 AM

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