Analects of the Core: Ferry on cooked food

In view of a recent change in our department lounge refreshments policy — namely, we know set out a bowl of fresh fruit for students and visitors, rather than one filled with toothsome but unhealthy candy — today’s Analect of the Core has to do with food. From David Ferry’s version of the epic Gilgamesh, Tablet II, pp. 12-13:

They cooked food and set it down before him;
they brought out beer they had brewed and set it down.

But Enkidu knew nothing about these things,
so he sat and stared at the cooked food and the beer

for a very long time, not knowing what to do.
Then Shamhat, the harlot, the temple prostitute,

said: “Enkidu, this is the food and drink
men eat and drink. Eat and drink your fill.”

So Enkidu ate his fill of the cooked food,
and drank the beer. Seven jugs of the beer

and he was suddenly joyful, and sang aloud.

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