Hyacinths to feed thy soul

Primary Creator
White, James Terry
Pages1 page
Name of WorkHyacinths to feed thy soul
Production Date1911c
Production Location

Current Location

General Notes

The poem is based upon a saying attributed to Mohamed.


A simple poem, well known and with various different wordings, that expresses a profound truth. An eloquent expression of the biblical 'Man does not live by bread alone', though in the biblical version it meant that one should also live by God's word - a moral or spiritual life not just a physical one.


Beauty is a form of sustenance

Emotional Sum or Sense-of-life

Hopeful. Even in poverty one can have beauty.

Context Information

The overall idea and some of the phrasing are taken from an existing English rendering of the proverb, which is attributed to Mohamed. The poem long ago "went viral," and is widely quoted with a variety of attributions. An early advertisement called it the "Hyacinth Verse," but it also appeared as part one of a two-part poem, "Not by Bread Alone."