“Wine and cheese are ageless companions, like aspirin and aches, or June and moon, or good people and noble ventures.” ~ M.F.K. Fisher
Was it G.K. Chesterton who said, “The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese”?
Clearly he wasn’t up on his Canadian poets, or he would have sung the praises of one James McIntyre of Ingersoll, Ontario, who’s known far and wide as “the cheese poet.” Who could forget (even if they wanted to) McIntyre’s masterpiece, “Ode on the Mammoth Cheese Weighing Over 7,000 Pounds”?
If Chesterton had lived long enough, he would have drooled over Donald Hall’s “O Cheese,” which Diane Mayr shared at Random Noodling last year. “Cheeses that dance in the moonlight/cheeses that mingle with sausages” — who could resist such free-spirited, sociable chunks of goodness? And who, among us, could ever turn our backs on the steadfast comfort of homemade mac and cheese, the golden brown delights of a friendly grilled cheese sandwich, the pull-apart-melty-string gooeyness of mozzarella married to pizza crust?
I’m sure Mr. Chesterton would also be happy to know that right here in our cozy Poetry Friday circle, we have a poet so enamored with cheese he’s written his own tribute. You may remember Charles Ghigna’s, “Lettuce Wrap, Let Us Rap,” or when he instigated our Peanut Butter Poetry Party a few months ago. Now Father Goose proves he definitely has a “whey with curds,” but when it comes to cheese, he just can’t seem to pick a favorite.
for Jama Kim Rattigan
There’s nothing better than Cheddar
Unless, of course, you agree
There’s nothing better than Brie.
But if you please, there’s a holey cheese
You may not want to miss
That’s simply known as Swiss.
Anytime you’d like to dine
At home when you’re alone,
Try a slice of Provolone.
A day gone by without a try
Is one I cannot bear
Of dear sweet Camembert.
From this list you must insist
The one fit for a Buddha,
A healthy slice of Gouda.
Your meal is not complete until you eat
The one that’s fit for any fella,
A creamy slice of mozzarella.
If none of these will do,
There’s always Bleu.
Copyright © 2013 Charles Ghigna. All rights reserved.
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I like the democratic nature and international flavor of this poem — we’ve got the French, Italians, Dutch, English and Swiss represented here. Most of us have tried all these cheeses at some time in our lives, making us a pretty worldly bunch.
Still, as Bertolt Brecht once said, “What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?”
And I’d really like to know why the cheese stands alone.
What’s your favorite kind of cheese? I like all the classic comfort food cheese dishes mentioned above, but possibly my fondest cheese memory is noshing on the English cheddar that was delivered to our doorstep when I lived in Wimbledon, England. My roommate and I ate slices of the stuff on crispbread for dinner while sharing the day’s school gossip. Simple, basic, soul-nourishing.
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The lovely Anastasia Suen is hosting today’s Roundup at her Poetry Blog. Wonder if she likes mac and cheese? I’ve been liking Ree Drummond’s recipe lately:
“Cheese is milk’s leap towards immortality.” ~ Clifton Fadiman
Copyright © 2013 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.