A Connoisseur Gives a Poetry Introduction
It all boils down to vintage, type, and taste.
Start with the classics: it's seldom a waste
of time and lets you learn a tested style:
A sonnet's good. Or try a French sestina:
the length and finish could be worth your while.
(You're not ready for the Dante yet, Christina --
check out some villanelles -- they're light and frizzy
although somewhat vanilla at the end;
ask the store for samples if you're busy).
Neruda's good -- Chilean's all the rage.
Some braver souls might risk a local blend --
there's Toh, and Wong -- but most need time to age.
To entertain? Well...I'd suggest Linguini
in Irish Mushroom Sauce, and Yeats. Or Heaney.
A Poet Gives A Wine-Tasting Demonstration
First tilt the glass, and look into the wine.
This often gives the first sign if it's swill.
Next, swirl it round, like this, and you'll be fine
If you keep the base flat: not a drop will spill.
Then put your nose some way into the bowl,
And take a few sharp sniffs. What do you smell?
Is there fresh fruit? A hint of chalk? Petrol?
Does it entice you, or does it stink like hell?
Now breathe air through the wine that's in your mouth,
Like this: Slur-ur-ur-ur-ur-ur-ur-urp!
Does it seem crisp, and does the taste engulf
Your palate? Then the finish (not the burp!):
Do the notes last? That's it. What's that? Says who?
What makes you think there's any wine for you?
A Chef Gives A Travelling Poetry Demonstration
Easy now...it takes a subtle touch;
you work it just a little, not too much
to get the colour out. Now add some spice,
some sauce...a bit of flavour will suffice,
and a pinch of salt, as with all things.
Here, if you spill a little, that's still fine
as long as you can catch it down the line.
Now put it in your mouth: does it taste right?
A well-made specimen most often brings
to mind a fine confection, say, a light
souffle au citron...assuming, mind you, that
the whole assemblage doesn't turn out flat.
Easy now...just tease it...whoops, don't beat it!
...there goes your poem. Now you'll have to eat it.
A Poet Gives A Travelling Cooking Demonstration
Hello, my name is Hsien, I'm here to cook
A Cantonese specialty: ku lu yoke.
See, first you chop the pork like this, and... FOOK!
Wash off the blood - it's just 'cos I'm a bloke;
I swear I have no interesting diseases.
Roll it in the egg yokes, then the batter.
Toss it in the wok of hot oil JAYSIS!
Let me wash my eye... next time we'll cater.
Meanwhile, you throw your peppers, vinegar,
Pineapple slices, sugar, rice wine, BLOODY
HELL, that was a big flame, n'est-ce pas?
Best quit while I'm alive. What's more this ruddy
Chinese food has poetry by the balls.
Let's cook some foie gras. Or dine at Blumenthal's.
02 September 2004 23:28 hours