I’m often fascinated with tiny details. Today I’m paying homage to the noble origins of the eating fork.
First, a poem:
This strange thing must have crept
Right out of hell.
It resembles a bird’s foot
Worn around the cannibal’s neck.
As you hold it in your hand,
As you stab with it into a piece of meat,
It is possible to imagine the rest of the bird:
Its head which like your fist
Is large, bald, beakless, and blind.
In language the fork had made a minor impression which has reflected its evolution.
“Fork in the road”
Muppet movie aside, this phrase represents a time when the young fork only had 2 prongs, more resembling its older brother the pitch fork.
Later when the fork became more commonly used, at least by nobility, the hand became known as “the poor man’s fork” as the utensil evolved to include more prongs and the resemblance to the hand became more apparent. This would evolve into the phrase “fork it over”.
The fork in new, hip, and way in vogue or at least until a new utensil takes rise.
Next week, I will be posting weekly on Mondays and about once or twice a month with a book review (maybe analysis too, interest and time pending). That being said, my first book review/analysis will be the hilarious, disturbing, and generally unnerving Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace.
If you have strong feelings on the fork or are excited for Infinite Jest or just want to express how much time you’ve wasted reading this and want to make me aware of that, please feel free to leave comments below.