Food of love star-crossed
Shakespeare's play Twelfth Night begins "If music be the food of love,
Ah, yes, that famous line is ever so true and so wonderful. But what is the food
of love for star-crossed lovers? Hardly music, so what could it be?
Recently, I went to a performance of that most famous of all plays about star-crossed
lovers and perhaps it was there I found an answer. Just a few seats from me, in the
balcony, were a young couple I know quite well and we acknowledged each other with a
wave and a "Hi!" greeting. It was Julie Smith and her Italian boyfriend RomEo,
although everyone calls him Romeo, of course.
During the intermission between Act 3 and Act 4, a boy with a tray walked through the
theatre selling ice-cream and sweets and nuts. I happened to notice what my young
friends bought. I was going to tell you what they ate but thought it would be nice to
put it into a poem as it seemed appropriate for the occasion. I'm a poor poet but at
least I know it and I try to get my poems over and done with quickly, so I wrote this
Food of love starcross'd:
Romeo and Julie ate*
peanuts and lollies.
ate* is pronounced et
Note: C J Dennis's poem The Sentimental Bloke has a section entitled The
Play in which the hero and heroine, Bill and Doreen, go to see Romeo and
Juliet. Bill tells us about the play and what he thinks of it. The last line of
The Play reads: "Peanuts and lollies!" sez a boy upstairs.