"Ruth and the alien corn and all that sort of thing"

An allusion to "Ode to a Nightingale", a poem written by John Keats in 1819.

Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!

No hungry generations tread thee down;

The voice I hear this passing night was heard

In ancient days by emperor and clown:

Perhaps the selfsame song that found a path

Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,

She stood in tears amid the alien corn;