H.M. Dyer’s ‘Ode to a cheesecake’

6 04 2010

I must preface my father’s poem (below) by explaining his urge to write about a cheesecake in the first place. In February we hosted a very scaled back Chocoholic Party for friends—aptly renamed the “Cabin Fever with Chocolate Party.” It was scaled-back from our annual soiree because of the unprecedented piles of snow in our area, which resulted in virtually no parking for guests from outside the neighborhood. (This annual party usually brings in 35+ chocoholics, so ample parking is necessary!) So, if you could walk to our house in 30+ inches of snow, you were a guest! Anyway, earlier in the week we bought a cheesecake from Costco during our rounds to gather food for this semi-potluck party. I was sitting at the computer working a few days before the party when Michael came downstairs—a brown wrapped package in one hand and a shovel in the other—and unlocked the patio door. I watched him, wondering if he was going to dig a path through the almost three feet of snow to the back gate (and why?). He proceeded to dig a hole into the snow bank just outside the door and buried the package. I then asked, “what in the world did you just bury?” “Cheesecake!” he exclaimed. “There wasn’t any room for it in the refrigerator and since the party is just two days away, I figured it would keep.” There you have it. Such a resourceful man. I think I’ll keep him.

So, my ‘An apology to the wood anemone’ poem (see my previous posting) has inspired my father to write his wonderful ‘Ode to a cheesecake.’ Bravo, bravo, King of Texas! Here are his comments to my post, followed by his poem.

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In advance of posting this comment, I humbly offer my abject apologies to the preacher John Donne, to the poet Joyce Kilmer and to the author of ‘An apology to the wood anemone’ . . . It’s not my fault—it’s in my nature—it’s something I cannot control. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa maxima.

Ode to a cheesecake

Breathes there one with soul so dead
That never to one’s self hath said
Methinks that I shall never see
A word so lovely as anemone.

Offed from my tongue it rolls
Sadly as the bell that tolls
Not for thee and not for me
Nor for the lovely anemone.

But for the cheesecake in its bower
Not ‘neath trees nor plants nor showers
Nay, ‘neath snowstorms full of power
Lying beneath the snow for hours
In wait for the chocolate party
To be eaten by goers hearty.

But wait, what’s that I see
Beside the cheesecake ‘neath the snow
The anemone arises ready to go
With the cheesecake to the table
Petals eight to be divided
Among the diners so excited
A ‘nemone to see.

They smell the petals
They hear the bell
They’ll come to know
As time will tell
If snow and cheesecake
Sounds their knell
Or leaves them alive
And well.

— H.M. Dyer (1932-     )

I neglected to give credit to Sir Walter Scott for his poem ‘The lay of the last minstrel’ in my ‘Ode to a cheesecake’—credit is now given. I also neglected to say that I loved your poem ‘An apology to the wood anemone’… Well done!

Your anemone arising from the snow is reminiscent of Thoreau’s “Walden,” in which he tells of a golden bug that in the spring gnawed its way out of a table after being entombed in the wood for many years.

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See more of my father’s pondering, hypothesizing and philosophizing, musings, comments, lectures, diatribes, royal reflections and revelations, essays, memoirs, biographies and autobiographies, tall tales, fables, childhood memories, yarns, jokes, poems, political and social commentary, and my favorite of his topics—excellent grammatical lessons—on his website, thekingoftexas.wordpress.com.

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One response

6 04 2010
slpmartin

Quite a clever bit of writing…gave me reason to pause and think if anemones could speak would they say “there goes the neighborhood.” 🙂

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