The Bean Eaters

By Gwendolyn Brooks 1917–2000 Gwendolyn Brooks
They eat beans mostly, this old yellow pair.   
Dinner is a casual affair.
Plain chipware on a plain and creaking wood,   
Tin flatware.

Two who are Mostly Good.
Two who have lived their day,
But keep on putting on their clothes   
And putting things away.

And remembering ...
Remembering, with twinklings and twinges,
As they lean over the beans in their rented back room that is full of beads and receipts and dolls and cloths, tobacco crumbs, vases and fringes.

Gwendolyn Brooks, “The Bean Eaters” from Selected Poems. Copyright © 1963 by Gwendolyn Brooks. Reprinted with the permission of the Estate of Gwendolyn Brooks.

Source: Poetry (September 1959).

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This poem originally appeared in the September 1959 issue of Poetry magazine

September 1959
 Gwendolyn  Brooks

Biography

Gwendolyn Brooks was a highly regarded, much-honored poet, with the distinction of being the first black author to win the Pulitzer Prize. She also was poetry consultant to the Library of Congress—the first black woman to hold that position—and poet laureate of the State of Illinois. Many of Brooks's works display a political consciousness, especially those from the 1960s and later, with several of her poems reflecting the civil . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Marriage & Companionship, Growing Old, Home Life, Living, Relationships

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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