Thursday, March 08, 2007

Mona, TEA and POETRY FRIDAY


(GR's kitchen: new tin of Earl Grey, new cup and saucer GR made for himself, and in a household full of teapots, sightly cracked and therefore unsold and kept, purple teapot with a dog on top. )
Mona has asked for my help with poetry Friday, and she knows I deliver (remember last week's emergency shark mug?). So, a word: TEA

I first thought 'companion or companionable' but I am up to the elbows in teaset orders, and tea is a fun word for a number of reasons, and it is a companionable item. Let us consider TEA, because it is not only a liquid, it is also an event.

The word has many uses and meanings when you look around and think about it, The Beverly Hillbillies of my youth started out with a phrase saying '...Texas tea...' in reference to crude oil. There were four gentlemen riding past us last night in a new black BMW with the windows open, and there was an unmistakable odor of tea, an old 60s expression for something smoked, not brewed and sipped. And, as Gromit shows us below, tea is also an event, a part of the day, a break and in the British Isles, somebody might ask 'what's for tea?', as in teatime, which would include not only the drink, but maybe muffins, cookies, a tasty snack.

There is an expression from Keats that is fairly common, although slightly misquoted, it does sound better as 'tea and sympathy'. But what he actually tells us is 'I leaped headlong into the sea, and thereby have become better acquainted with ...the quicksands, and the rocks than if I had stayed upon the green shore...and took tea and comfortable advice'. In the context, he is telling us he has wanted to live life to the fullest, with adventures and risks, rather than sitting in drawing rooms chatting about gossip and trivialities. TS Eliot, from the 'Lovesong of J Alfred Prufrock' wonders along the same lines 'should I, after tea and cakes and ices, have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?'. Both men tell us, as modern advertisers also tell us, that tea is for quiet and comfort, slowing down and relaxing. But it is also sociable, as Eliot also tells us in 'Lovesong': 'time for you and time for me....before the taking of toast and tea'.

12 comments:

Sanjay said...

So is the word tea or is it sense? I must be confused and why is that not news?

Sanjay said...

Ok the word is tea..don't mind me :)

gr said...

tea tea tea tea ta tea tea tea TEA!!!!!!!!!!

meno said...

Tea for two and two for tea and me for you and you for me.

Now i'll have that song stuck in my head. Must try and remove.

"It's a small world after all...."

gr said...

just smile and think of England

Maggie said...

Or how about that Sting song "Tea in the Sahara" - Meno that's better than "Tea for Two" lol.

Tea is one of my favorite things. I love loose leaf teas and my most favorite to date is Egyptian Chamomile. Now there's a tea to soothe the frayed nerves of a manic blogger...

gr said...

I saw white tea at the store today. I had forgotten about that stuff. Right now I am having e-s-p-r-e-s-s-o, but don't tell.

Mona Buonanotte said...

I love Earl Grey. I want to take him for long walks near the duck pond, where we spread out a lovely plaid blanket and sip deep wines and eat tangy cheese and break off hunks of still-warm bread. And then, if the mood strikes, Earl and I will have our way with each other under the willow tree.

We're totally goin' steady....

gr said...

pushin' the boundaries of 'family friendly blog'.........

Gordo The Geek said...

Teas can do that to people, Gary. I'll have to show you my cupboard full of teas sometime. There's a great shop in Ottawa, The Tea Party, that sells everything you can think of. We used to go in whenever we were up for some market spice. It's this great, black tea with things like cloves and orange peel added. Yumm. Apparently, we didn't buy enough: their supplier stopped making it.

My absolute favourite is a good Earl Grey with a pich of Lapsang Suchong. It adds a beautiful smoky flavour to it.

gr said...

I want to go to Ottawa and see the sights! Like the senators!

Mother of Invention said...

Interesting, this tea thing...you think of it as relaxing but real tea has quite a bit of caffeine....coffee is thought to be the starter-upper and keep'er up there!
I love white tea flavoured with cinnamon and cloves.

Tea in England was a great production when I visited a Lord and Lady Hayworth, aunt and uncle of a friend's. I just loved all the fancy sandwiches and scones and sweets there!

Okay, I was with San Jay and thought the word was SENSE!!! Must have had too much tea when I read Mona's post! (And it's not news for me either!)