The Story of Augustus who would not have any Soup

On an errand to find poetry that speaks to eating disorders for a remembrance event I stumbled on this - not appropriate for the purpose but a fascinating male anorexia narrative:

The Story of Augustus who would not have any Soup by Heinrich Hoffmann


  1. Thanks for posting this! Growing up, I never heard of this cautionary tale. From what I read, parents would recite this to their kids to get them to finish their food.

    Hmmm... If I had read this poem at the height of my disorder, I would have felt like I a failure.

    I also refused food. I sent it away and I got very ill and sick.

    Why was starving so easy for him? How did he have the self-restraint? There was no mention of a slip up or a binge. There wasn't even a mention of self-doubt or guilt.

    It kind of sends the wrong message to people who are actively engaging in their eating disorders:

    Starving should be easy. Just send the food away and nobody will get in the way.

    It also mentions that he felt weak and ill. Those words jump out and trigger people who have eating disorders because that's the whole point, isn't it? I wanted to feel week and ill so that thinking took a back seat.

    After all, we know that it's not about the hallows that the mirror reflects or about fitting into double zero jeans.

    Of course, we will never admit it.
    Some of us are people pleasers just like Augustus so we say that we are not satisfied with ourselves, our body or our perception of things.

    It would have been a much better cautionary tale if we got to read about the angst that goes on in the mind of a person with an eating disorder:

    It’s in the extremes, between the emptiness and satiety, the wanting and denying, the amplification of thoughts and suppressed actions.
    (Just part of something I posted in my recovery journal)



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