Featuring cherita!

March 23, 2012

Poetry Friday--"O Cheese"

Last night I ate out and had a grilled gouda sandwich with tomatoes and fresh basil. Yum! After macaroni and cheese, a grilled cheese sandwich is the best ever cheese dish. My favorite of all, though, is plain old Swiss cheese cut from a block, eaten with a piece of toast and butter, topped off by a piece of fruit. The simplest, most dependable lunch ever!

I, however, am not the only fan of cheese. This poem by NH's Donald Hall, is a tribute to cheese--more kinds than I've ever tried!
O Cheese

In the pantry the dear dense cheeses, Cheddars and harsh
Lancashires; Gorgonzola with its magnanimous manner;
the clipped speech of Roquefort; and a head of Stilton
that speaks in a sensuous riddling tongue like Druids.

O cheeses of gravity, cheeses of wistfulness, cheeses
that weep continually because they know they will die.
O cheeses of victory, cheeses wise in defeat, cheeses
fat as a cushion, lolling in bed until noon.

Liederkranz ebullient, jumping like a small dog, noisy;
Pont l’Ev√™que intellectual, and quite well informed; Emmentaler
decent and loyal, a little deaf in the right ear;
and Brie the revealing experience, instantaneous and profound.

O cheeses that dance in the moonlight, cheeses
that mingle with sausages, cheeses of Stonehenge.
O cheeses that are shy, that linger in the doorway,
eyes looking down, cheeses spectacular as fireworks.

Reblochon openly sexual; Caerphilly like pine trees, small
at the timberline; Port du Salut in love; Caprice des Dieux
eloquent, tactful, like a thousand-year-old hostess;
and Dolcelatte, always generous to a fault.

O village of cheeses, I make you this poem of cheeses,
O family of cheeses, living together in pantries,
O cheeses that keep to your own nature, like a lucky couple,
this solitude, this energy, these bodies slowly dying.

This week's Round-Up takes place at A Year of Reading.

Photo © Norman Boutillette, all rights reserved.


  1. "O cheeses of gravity, cheeses of wistfulness" - Hall just found the perfect personalities, didn't he? I love this poem, Diane - thanks for posting it.

  2. *swoon*

    This made my day!

    "Cheeses that dance in the moonlight. . ."

    I agree with you about mac and cheese and grilled cheese. Now I want Swiss cheese on toast for lunch. :)

  3. Yes, cheeses that dance in the moonlight! I could see Swiss doing that! With her holes she'd let the moonlight through while she danced!

  4. Imagine the amount of wine consumed with a lifetime of those cheeses! What is a wistful cheese, I wonder? Most of them are "cheeses of gravity" for me, adding to my weight and keeping me from "jumping like a small dog." Lovely poem. I had forgotten this one.