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Philip Paradis - Bean Soup, Or A Legume Miscellany

Nobody there is that doesn't love a bean. 
If not the royal Navy bean, then the wax bean, 
the soybean, the green bean, the black bean—the 
pot is large, it contains multitudes—white bean, 
pink bean, small red bean, the lowly pinto, the 
lovely lentil—let the lamp affix its bean—or 
the walnut-shaped garbanzo, large lima bean, baby lima, 
(A reunion of the Bean families is here assembled), 
the cranberry bean, white kidney bean, northern bean, 
or their      ed cousins: green split pea, yellow 
split pea, and ol' blackeye. A lineup 
of likely legumes. Gather ye bean-pods 
while ye may. Go and catch a falling bean 
and if you catch one, let me know. 
A man and a woman are one. A man and a woman 
and a bean are one, or two, or three. 

The beans I mean, no one has seen them made 
or heard them made, but at supper-time 
we find them there. Come live with me, 
and eat some beans and we will love 
within our means. One could do worse 
than be an eater of beans. 

Shall I compare thee to a summer's bean? 
Thou art more lovely and more temperate. 
Had we but world enough, and time, 
this coyness, Lady, were no crime. 
But, at my back, I always hear 
a pot of beans bubbling near. 

Mark but this bean, and mark in this, 
how little that which thou deny'st me is. 
An aged bean is but a paltry thing. 
I must lie down where all ladders start, 
in the foul rag-and-bean shop of the heart. 
O my love is like a red, red bean, 
that's newly picked in June: 
O my love is like a pinto bean, 
that's truly cooked at noon. 

So much depends upon a red kidney 
bean. You might ask, Do I dare 
to eat a bean? Dry beans can harm no one. 
They remind us of home sweet home, 
home on the range, 
home where the heart is. 
Without expecting anything in return, 
they give us protein, zip, and gas. 
Add what you will—onion, tomatoes, red 
pepper, chili powder, juice of lemon, 
salt & pepper to taste. Add ham 
hocks, bring to a boil, simmer slowly. 
Call your friends, serve with 
panache,      ers, and green salad. 

How do I cook them? Let me count the ways—
boiling, steaming, frying, baking. 
And if these verses may thee move, 
Sweet Lady, come live with me 
and be my love. And if this fare 
you disapprove, come live with me 
and please be my cook.

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Added: Feb 21 2003 | Viewed: 3303 times | Comments and analysis of Bean Soup, Or A Legume Miscellany  by Philip Paradis Comments (3)

Bean Soup, Or A Legume Miscellany - Comments and Information

Poet: Philip Paradis
Poem: Bean Soup, Or A Legume Miscellany
Year: Published/Written in 1989

Comment 3 of 3, added on January 8th, 2010 at 11:13 PM.
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bardawulfl from United States
Comment 2 of 3, added on December 23rd, 2009 at 1:26 AM.
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crosleylin from Bahrain
Comment 1 of 3, added on February 11th, 2006 at 3:00 PM.

I love the way Paradis weaves in and modifies many famous lines of poetry into his piece about beans. It really is a fun poem to read.

TjB from United States

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