American Life in Poetry: Column 166
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE, 2004-2006
Texas poet R. S. Gwynn is a master of the light touch.
Here he picks up on Gerard Manley Hopkins' sonnet "Pied Beauty,"
which many of you will remember from school, and offers us a picnic
instead of a sermon. I hope you enjoy the feast!
Glory be to God for breaded things--
Catfish, steak finger, pork chop, chicken thigh,
Sliced green tomatoes, pots full to the brim
With french fries, fritters, life-float onion rings,
Hushpuppies, okra golden to the eye,
That in all oils, corn or canola, swim
Toward mastication's maw (O molared mouth!);
Whatever browns, is dumped to drain and dry
On paper towels' sleek translucent scrim,
These greasy, battered bounties of the South:
American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation
(www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine.
It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of
Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright (c) 2005 by R. S. Gwynn,
whose most recent book of poetry is "No Word of Farewell:
Poems 1970-2000," Story Line Press, 2001. Poem reprinted from
"Light: A Quarterly of Light Verse," No. 50, Autumn, 2005, by permission
of R. S. Gwynn. Introduction copyright (c) 2008 by The Poetry Foundation.
The introduction's author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet
Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004- 2006.
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