Monday, April 2, 2007

Got Cheese?

April is National Poetry Month and in celebration I cracked open my
copy of "Very Bad Poetry", edited by Kathryn and Ross Petras (NY:
Vintage, 1997, not for sale). From these pages I offer the following
poem by Canadian furniture maker and poet James McIntyre (1827-1906).
McIntyre created this dairy ditty after viewing a four ton cheese on
display at a Toronto exposition in this pre-television era. No word
on what type of cheese was so inspirational, but it musta been Gouda.

Ode on the Mammoth Cheese
(Weighing Over 7,000 Pounds)

We have seen thee, queen of cheese,
Lying quietly at year ease,
Gently fanned by evening breeze,
Thy fair form no flies dare seize.

All gaily dressed soon you'll go
To the great Provincial show,
To be admired by many a beau
In the city of Toronto.

Cows numerous as a swarm of bees,
Or as the leaves upon the trees,
It did require to make thee please,
And stand unrivalled, queen of cheese.

May you not receive a scar as
We have heard that Mr. Harris
Intends to send you off as far as
The great world's show at Paris.

Of the youth beware of these,
For some of them might rudely squeeze
And bite your cheek, then songs or glees
We could not sing, oh! queen of cheese.

We'rt thou suspended from balloon,
You'd cast a shade even at noon,
Folks would think it was the moon
About to fall and crush them soon.

(I like to image Michael Ondaatje reading this.)

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