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Bits and bobs about my life in my lovely home, Thatchwick Cottage, Pretoria, South Africa.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Monday, 5 May: A quirky poem for lasagna lovers & aspiring blog writers

The connection with everyone family's favourite dish (especially when the recipe is from Carluccio of London, like this veg and meat lasagne) and writing poetry (or blogs, for that matter) may seem obscure. But wait till you read this quirky poem by South African poet(ess), Finuala Dowling.

Talk, share, listen

I was meant to be writing a poem
but because I'm human I made a lasagne instead
while simultaneously composing a poem in my head
and thinking about an article I'd read, which said
poets on average live for only 62.2 years.
(It is Ferlinghetti's fault, I think, that we look so long-lived.
Born 1919 and still going - he may make a hundred.)
You can tell if a poet's depressed, say researchers,
because we write more "I's" and more "me's" and choose
fewer words of rapport such as "talk","share" and "listen".

Ho, hmm, talk, share and listen.

In fact I made two lasagnes, since some people like meat
whereas others won't eat things which once had feet.
I was cooking to escape my screen. On it were two lines:
"Poets end their own lives
But politicians have to be shot."

How dreadful. I said that. I wish I had not.

Ho, hmm, talk, share and listen.

There is an art to making lasagne while simultaneously
composing a poem. Lasagnes are quite complicated
and deep. They come in layers with blank sheets
in between. Lasagnes are best assembled alone,
in a serious and contemplative atmosphere, and should, wherever possible, be allowed to stand quite long
before being read aloud to create a frisson
at occasions where one gathers to talk, share and listen.


This comes from a collection of delightfully sad and funny poetry about love, family, writing and Cape Town, entitled The doo-wop girls of the universe, published by Penguin.

What do you think?

And, by the way, is it politically incorrect to say poetess? Woman poet? Surely not female writer!! I am sure Alexandra at Silver Bell Cottage can advise...


willow said...

Good morning, Eleanor!

You are right, I did enjoy that delightful poem. Love the symbolism in the lasagna layers.

(and your photo made me hungry)

Janet said...

I was here yesterday reading your Lasagne poem, but didn't comment and then saw your comment on my blog this A. What a small world indeed and how amazing that after all these years I would remember Jean's name ( when sometimes I hardly remember my own,LOL).

I am enjoying your garden and your birds.


Cottage Contessa said...

Anything involving lasagna sounds good to me! Hope you're having a wonderful week dear Eleanor!
Amanda (aka Cottage Contessa)

Anonymous said...

I loved the poem, especially the part about poets and politicians. That lasagna looks delish. What an interesting familial history, a bit "Out of Africa" though we know the text is a bit different than the movie. So nice to have you, Eleanor. Enjoy you very, very much ~
Hugs ~