Monday, July 18, 2005


There is no relation (other than our common Uncle and Aunt) between myself and a new writer in the e-cosmos, Michael Vooris, who publishes "Thursday" (subtitled "For all those chasing after Sunday on this sometimes absurd adventure" - a superb insight!).

Recently he has posted a reply to GKC's comment about the mysterious silence of poets regarding cheese (quoted from Alarms and Discursions, 70). The next line is quite witty also, and I repeat it for your enjoyment: "Virgil, if I remember right, refers to it several times, but with too much Roman restraint. He does not let himself go on cheese."

You should go here and read it...

And since I once wrote something on this same subject, I will also post it in the hope of stimulating others to write...

"Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese."
- G. K. Chesterton

A rhyme on cheese to all would seem absurd;
Wasted paper, kindling for a fire.
Cheese, but in cooking, not an oft-used word -
Poets wise ought seek for topics higher.
Hungry worker, of much beer a buyer,
Who calls for bread and cheddar "if you please!"
Well-read barkeep comments in some ire:
"How strangely silent poets are on cheese!"

A mystery of heated milk - the curd
Draining on a mesh of cloth and wire;
Some sit quiet, some are ever stirred
While it slowly gets to be much drier.
Some becomes a fill for sandwich fryer,
Some may be a sauce for eggs or peas.
Eat it daily, it will not inspire:
How strangely silent poets are on cheese!

O fruit of science, fruit of bovine herd!
Fresh and creamy; molten on a pyre;
So bold and strong, or else by flavors blurred;
Simple snack; at need, the meal entire;
Treasure food whose greatness I admire
When local-born or brought beyond the seas -
Literati I would prove a liar:
How strangely silent poets are on cheese!

O Chesterton, I fill your desire
By writing cheesy verses such as these
Not sung by earth or by heaven's choir:
How strangely silent poets are on cheese!

(October 1, 1994 - wow, that was nearly 11 years ago!)


At 18 July, 2005 15:39, Blogger Michael Vooris said...

Wonderful! It is hard to believe that someone else has actually wrote a poem cheese. It is great to find someone who appreciates GKC and the like. I look forward to hearing more. Until then... The cheese rolls on.

At 18 July, 2005 16:51, Blogger Joe said...

Hip Hip! Hooray! Thank you Dr.Thursday and Mr.Vooris! Perhaps this could provide fodder for a special issue of Gilbert! dedicated to the subject of cheese?

There is a delightful children's story about a man who loved cheese to the detriment of the rest of his life; rhyming if I remember correctly. I'll have to ask my wife if she remembers the title and author ... and then will have to make a trip to the public library.

At 18 July, 2005 19:28, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe, Can you do a keyword search online at your library, and place a hold that way? If not, try a keyword search at amazon for the title- or you might call the children's librarian- they know everything :) These will save you time, but deprive you of the fun of searching for yourself!

Erin Angelynn

At 18 July, 2005 19:50, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. T,
Maybe poets have been silent on the subject because of the Most Important Rule when eating cheese,
is... "Try not to drool, if you happen to sneeze."


At 18 July, 2005 22:06, Blogger Joe said...

Thank you, faithful Erin Angelynn, for paging me. It was easily found with an search: "The Old Man Who Loved Cheese" by Garrison Keillor. Their review contains some of the verse:

"There was an old man named Wallace P. Flynn / Who lived in a house in the trees-- / You could smell him for several miles downwind / Because of his fondness for cheese." So begins silver-tongued storyteller Garrison Keillor's comical rhyming story The Old Man Who Loved Cheese. Mr. Flynn doesn't like mild cheese--he likes the stinkiest cheese available: "Some men want fame and their name on marquees. / Some men love money. I choose cheese," he proclaims to his frankly fed-up family. They scatter like leaves, and with his family gone, Mr. Flynn's life deteriorates as he spends more and more time at Easy Ed's Used Cheese Market. "The smell was so awful, so sour and vile / The skunks had to go and lie down for a while." It was only a matter of time before the cheese police moved in--smoking him out of his house with lemon meringue and butterscotch custard, both of which Mr. Flynn finds repulsive. In court, he finally agrees to forswear all cheese, convinced by the prospect of spending some time with his new grandson. Shortly after he is freed, he gets back together with his wife and they live happily ever after, sans fromage.

I'll have to put it on hold through our library. The illustrations (Anne Wilsdorf) are great fun too!

At 18 July, 2005 23:16, Anonymous Anonymous said...


*snap* Went the trap!
That was lying in wait
Blindly went for the bait...

The strong lure of its smell
Was the DOOM of the mice

Three Dead STINKIN' Mice

At 25 July, 2005 12:26, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought the number one rule for eating cheese was, "Cover your mouth, if you happen to sneeze"...?
That other one was really gross.

Erin A.

At 25 July, 2005 12:32, Anonymous Anonymous said...

*OUCH!" squeaked mouse one,
"Ouch! us two," cried its mates.
As the springbar befell they
Kept date with their fates.


At 04 March, 2009 11:05, Blogger Old Fashioned Liberal said...

Very good, Dr. Thursday. It was narrow-minded of me to assume that all food poems had to be about taste, wasn't it?


Post a Comment

<< Home