Guest poem sent in by Catherine Pegg
(Poem #1921) Tobacco Is Like Love
Tobacco, Tobacco sing sweetly for Tobacco, Tobacco is like love, O love it for you see I wil prove it Love maketh leane the fatte mens tumor, so doth Tobacco, Love still dries uppe the wanton humor, so doth Tobacco, love makes men sayle from shore to shore, so doth Tobacco Tis fond love often makes men poor so doth Tobacco Love makes men scorn al Coward feares, so doth Tobacco Love often sets men by the eares so doth Tobacco. Tobaccoe, Tobaccoe Sing sweetely for Tobaccoe, Tobaccoe is like Love, O love it, For you see I have prowde it.
Note: from "The First Part of Ayres (or Musicall Humors)", 1605 All the poems about smoking that I've been seeing on your site made me think of this one. Alas, I cannot say much about it, save that it is meant to be sung, and belongs with work by Dowland and Campion in Elizabethan (or thereabouts) England. Why I like it: because it's clever. It writes about all the horrible things of tobacco and love (excepting lung cancer), and yet I get the feeling that the writer is saying: "But you know you're gonna pick up the baccy again - and Love? There's no hope for us, mate, and ain't that wonderful...". He takes two of the great tragedies of human nature, love and addiction, and turns them into a source of innocent merriment for a while. I like that. Not every jewel has to be the Koh i Noor, and neither every poem an abyss hidden inside a crack in the footpath. Catherine [Martin adds] I was tangentially but irresistibly reminded of Kipling's immortal line "A woman is only a woman, but a good Cigar is a Smoke." (And I note we've not run the poem yet - tomorrow is as good a time as any, I guess!) [Links] More on Mr Hume can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tobias_Hume