A poem for National Coffee Day

0 Comments 29 September 2011

National Coffee Day, Helen Rowland,Poet, Journalist,White Woman

Rowland is up with coffee

In honor of National Coffee Day, brought to my attention by novelist Nancy Bilyeau, here’s Helen Rowland’s long-lost poem in praise of coffee and its impact on the male animal:

What Every Wife Knows
Give me a man who drinks good, hot, dark, strong coffee for breakfast!
A man who smokes a good, dark, fat cigar after dinner!
You may marry your milk-faddist, or your anti-coffee crank, as you will!
But I know the magic of the coffee pot!
Let me make my Husband’s coffee — and I care not who makes eyes at him!
Give me two matches a day —
One to start the coffee with, at breakfast, and one for his cigar, after dinner!
And I defy all the houris in Christendom to light a new flame in his heart!

Oh, sweet supernal coffee-pot!
Gentle panacea of domestic troubles.
Faithful author of that sweet nepenthe which deadens all the ills that married folks are heir to.
Cheery, glittering, soul-soothing, warmed hearted, inanimate friend!
What wife can fail to admit the peace and serenity she owes to you?
To you, who stand between her and all her early morning troubles —
Between her and the before-breakfast grouch —
Between her and the morning-after headache —
Between her and the cold-gray-dawn scrutiny?
To you, who supply the golden nectar that stimulates the jaded masculine soul.
Soothes the shaky masculine nerves, stirs the fagged masculine mind, inspires the slow masculine sentiment.
And starts the sluggish blood a-flowing and the whole day right!

What is it, I ask you, when he comes down to breakfast dry of mouth, and touchy of temper—
That gives him pause, and silences that scintillating barb of sarcasm on the tip of his tongue,
With which he meant to impale you?
It is the sweet aroma of the coffee-pot—the thrilling thought of that first delicious sip!

What is it, on the morning after the club dance,
That hides your weary, little, washed-out face and straggling, uncurled coiffure from his critical eyes?
It is the generous coffee-pot, standing like a guardian angel between you and him!
And in those many vital psychological moments, during the honeymoon, which decide for or against the romance and happiness of all the rest of married life—
Those critical before-breakfast moments when temperament meets temperament, and will meets “won’t” —
What is it that halts you on the brink of tragedy,
And distracts you from the temptation to answer back?
It is the absorbing anxiety of watching the coffee boil!
What is it that warms his veins and soothes your nerves,
And turns all the world suddenly from a dismal gray vale of disappointment to a bright rosy garden of hope —
And starts another day gliding smoothly along like a new motor car?
What is it that will do more to transform a man from a fiend into an angel than baptism in the River Jordan?
It is the first cup of coffee in the morning!

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