Eating Enough

As to my dietary programme—bosh! I am eating enough! Just you take a medium-sized loaf of bread, cut it in four equal parts, & add to each of these ¼ can (medium) Heinz beans & a goodly chunk of cheese. If the result isn’t a full-sized, healthy day’s quota of fodder for an Old Gentleman, I’ll resign from the League of Nations’ dietary committee! It only costs 8¢—but don’t let that prejudice you! It’s good sound food, & many vigorous Chinamen live on vastly less. Of course, from time to time I’ll vary the “meat course” by getting something instead of beans—canned spaghetti, beef stew, corned beef, &c. &c. &c.—& once in a while I’ll add a dessert of cookies or some such thing. Fruit, also, is conceivable.

DESCRIPTION: In a letter to his aunt, Lillian Delora Clark, Lovecraft insists that, despite his aunt’s apprehensions, his diet is nutritionally adequate.

CITATION: Lovecraft, H. P. “To Lillian D. Clark.” 11 Apr. 1925. H. P. Lovecraft: Letters from New York. Edited by S. T. Joshi and David E. Schultz, Night Shade Books, 2005, pp. 118-22.


Come Hither, My Lads

Come hither, my lads, with your tankards of ale,
And drink to the present before it shall fail;
Pile each on your platter a mountain of beef,
For ’tis eating and drinking that bring us relief:
So fill up your glass,
For life will soon pass;
When you’re dead ye’ll ne’er drink to your king or your lass!

DESCRIPTION: In this passage from the short story “The Tomb” (1917), Jervas Dudley recites the eighteenth-century drinking song that he sang in front of his family at breakfast.

CITATION: Lovecraft, H. P. “The Tomb.” The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Stories. Edited by S. T. Joshi, Penguin Books, 2001, pp. 1-10.

Awake Me Not

Dear Mother:—
If, as you start toward Lillie’s festive spread,
You find me snoring loudly in my bed,
Awake me not, for I would fain repose,
And thro’ the day in quiet slumbers doze.
But lest I starve, for lack of food to eat,
Leave here a dish of Quaker Puffed Wheat,
Or breakfast biscuit, which, it matters not,
To break my fast when out of bed I’ve got.
And if to supper you perchance should stay,
Thus to complete a glorious festive day,
Announce the fact to me by Telephone,
That whilst you eat, I may prepare my own.

DESCRIPTION: In his poem “To His Mother on Thanksgiving,” Lovecraft requests that his mother refrain from waking him before she leaves for Thanksgiving dinner.

CITATION: Lovecraft, H. P. “To His Mother on Thanksgiving.” The Ancient Track: The Complete Poetical Works of H. P. Lovecraft. Edited by S. T. Joshi, Hippocampus Press, 2013, p. 425.