Review of "Top 10 Foods"
"The colour of truth is grey." (Andre Gide)
"The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese." G K Chesterton, as quoted by SkyPhoenix.* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
But it seems more than just a pity
While ogling SkyP’s glamorous pic
(Well worth a peek, lads, she’s a wick-
ed looking blonde and no mistake;
In fact, she’s worth a double-take)
I spied she’d quoted, just beneath,
From Chesterton – that’s Gilbert Keith –
A line to the effect that cheese
Has been subjected to a squeeze,
Edged out by poets right and left,
Cold-shouldered, spurned and shunned, bereft
Of rhymed attention, small or large.
Hard luck, you might say, dur fromage,
If you don’t like it, quel dommage.
That all those poets wise and witty
Have somehow gone and lost the plot
And sing of cheese…. well, not a lot.
What benefits they would have gained
If only from their thoughts they’d strained
The creamy curd with aid of rennet
Perhaps exclaiming, “Gordon Bennett!
“Here’s tasty fare, quite the reverse
“Of what we usually put in verse.
“For what delight it is to find
“The cheesy thoughts that fill my mind
“Encased at last in verbal rind.”
Would, thus inspired, a bore like Milton
Count Paradise well lost for Stilton
And fall from Edam not from Eden
No need to write it boustrophedon?
(At last a chance to use that word,
A joy for any verbal nerd.)
So, all at once, his verse would please,
Regain acclaim by dint of cheese.
Likewise in France old Molière
Would write of Brie and Gruyère.
Such characters, such tasty parts -
A mousetrap for our minds and hearts -
Would see his plays leap up the charts.
It seems to me that old Longfellow
Would only know the latter kind
As all American cheese, I find,
Is yellow and taste-free. No whey
Could Whitman make poetic hay
Nor Frost, nor Eliot; no wonder
All Yank poets forbear to thunder
About their cheese. Now, with Caerphilly
The Welsh would make themselves look silly
By rhyming it. No lightning fork
Of words from Dylan T would talk
Me out of thinking it was chalk.
Some cheese is soft or even runny -
An Ogden Nash could make it funny.
Some is blue and deeply veined
The colour of an ankle sprained
Or even varicose, I’m told,
If it’s kept long, matured and old;
A dismal shade like close of day,
Fit for an elegy by Gray.
Some comes from cows, some goats, some sheep;
In counting them you’d fall asleep
And in your dark poetic dreams
You’d churn out reams and reams and reams
Of verse on crusty curdled creams.
Enough to spark off any bard.
Some cheese, like Limburger, is smelly
Perhaps its odour is what Shelley
Invokes the wild west wind to clear,
Whilst Munster prompts his Mary dear
To dream up Frankenstein. And Keats,
Seeking a course to follow meats,
Might well have plumped for Camembert
To act as prelude for dessert,
Like sweet or pie or sweetie pie
Which brings me back full circle nigh
To Ciao’s own Phoenix of the Sky.
My thanks to her, and GKC,
For opening my eyes to see
That it might be a wizard wheeze
To pen a verse in praise of cheese.
My own brief effort you’ve now read
But I know it leaves much unsaid -
Poets and cheeses still unnamed
By other Ciaoists to be claimed;
Nothing so formal as a challenge,
But maybe you might like to scavenge
Your dictionaries of food and rhyme
And, thus inspired, write in time
Paeans of praise to cheese sublime.
Top 10 foods? Well, cheese is the finest of foods, and I think you'll find 10 cheeses mentioned.
© torr 2004
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Listed on Ciao since: 07/04/2002