An illustrated manuscript from that period shows two men using two-pronged forklike instruments at a table, and St.
While Damian’s condemnation was unusually strict (this was also a man who described the first grammarian as the devil), the fork was commonly viewed with skepticism or even outright hostility.
But that kind of emotion is not latent in everything we touch (which may explain why Simic gave up on his object-poems pretty fast).
Perhaps the fork is potent and intriguing because it is surprisingly modern.
At this time, most forks were two-pronged, and either hefty enough to hold down a cut of meat (similar to what we would think of today as a carving fork) or so dainty they were used primarily to eat sweets at the end of meals. Montaigne, writing in the 1570s in a passage about the force of habit, mentions forks but says he rarely uses them.
And they were still associated with sinister behavior.