Tell me where is fancy bred,
Or in the heart or in the head?
How begot, how nourished?
At le pain quotidien.
Go with gut or gritty yen,
Stems mendel broth,
'Tis up t'you to tend fire.
I am quite fond of this reply I made to a girl's Shakespeare-quoting dating profile. I challenged her to find hidden meanings.
Synopsis of hidden meanings [spoileralert]:
Pain Quotidien is an upscale bakery. It's a joke. But, also, "pain quotidien" means everyday bread, bread of the people. It evokes ritual and nourishment. But 'pain' in English means suffering - in this case, the suffering of the 'people' in much the way a communist uses the word 'proletariat'.
Gut. More bread jokes. And of course, trust your intuition. Gritty yen can be the friction of one's struggle to find meaning, but also a hint of the struggle to survive, since grit is toughness but also sometihng you might expect in poor people's bread (corn grits). Or it can be the despoilment of life through material pursuits - money - since yen is japanese currency.
Stems, plants. Mendel is considered the father of genetics. Broth being the primordial soup - growing things from a fertile source. But we are also sticking with the Panera/Bread Shop theme here. And for good measure, since life is all about patterns, there's an echo of Mandelbrot sets here, the mathematics which produce progressive infinite variations - commonly expressed visually as fractals, and used as a concrete example of how complexity can come (stem) from a simple set of rules. A rich life can come from living simply.
Man's desire? I'm driving home the genetics thing. We reproduce sexually. So I'm also hitting on her. I want to fuck her.
Fire. She's hot, so let's get hot together. The source of desire can be found in modern gene-based evolutionary theory, but it's a sort of cop out to only explain how we are the way we are - what she really wants to know is what to do about it! So I give her a lead. My Stoke Quest is all about finding what fuels my own passions - tending to the fires of one's own ambition is an active cultivation., so I use the word fire in that sense of how he uses it in "The Road."
“You have to carry the fire."
I don't know how to."
Yes, you do."
Is the fire real? The fire?"
Yes it is."
Where is it? I don't know where it is."
Yes you do. It's inside you. It always was there. I can see it.” - Cormack McCarthy
But I intentionally leave out the word 'to' - so tending fire can also mean to be fire, or to be inclined toward a life lived like a fire...
The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww! - Kerouac
And that's everything. I'd love for someone to pull more meanings out, tough!