My last post got more comments than usual. Obviously the potato stirs something in all of us. I have, therefore, attempted to unravel in verse-form, something of our recent tangled history with the spud.
Once, man yearned for the potato, through famines. My God, through wars! But recently, with carbohydrates falling out of favour and more exotic side-dishes to tempt our taste-buds, the proletarian potato has declined in popularity. But is showing signs of rising gloriously again!
Many poems have been written about the potato famine and I am not fool enough to essay the paths that wiser people than me have trodden. Instead, the scope of my poem is limited to this last troubling period where the potato has struggled to find its place at the feast, once again. I have named my poem “Vegetable Beauty” although reading it over, it could equally be called “Britney Spears” and, oddly, she seemed to pop into my mind as I was pondering potatoes. It would be easy to be cruel about that, but I know none of you will sink that low.
Your starchy consistency consistently pleases,
You go well with carrots, swedes, turnips and peases,
Now waxy, now floury, now mealy, now bitty,
More common than Paris but smarter than Britney.
Good boiled, baked or fried, or basted and roasted,
“The queen of the plate!” Pop culture once boasted…
Men, testing your nature with tongue and with mind,
Have sometimes been cruel, elitist, unkind.
“How starchy!” “So bland!” Though they ate and they ate
And worried o’er waistlines, and spoke of their weight.
Some say your carbs aren’t complex “They’re too simple!
Peristalsis will halt and they’ll make my thighs dimple!”
My colon will not be sufficiently cleansed,
Too many tatties will lead to us wearing Depends*.
Your popularity has taken a shakin’,
As people go wholegrain, veggie or vegan,
They’ve forgotten your fibre, your Vitamin C,
Your love-song with Ketchup, your conveniency.
But within each breast, if we’re honest and true,
Beats a heart and a stomach that loves, above all, you!
A once guillty secret, you’ve climbed out of the larder,
In favour, in flavour, now posh, wiser, harder.
Like Madonna you’ve reinvented yourself as a russet,
(Folks forget how she once rudely grabbed at her gusset),
“What artistry, texture!” We wonder again why
We’d forgotten the delight of a simple french fry.
So move over rice and pasta and legume,
Spud’s back in town; side supremacy resumed,
A recovered staple, a comfort, a friend
I’m off for a chippy- goodbye and The End
* “Depends” – an incontinence shield sold to the elderly and unfortunate of North America.
Happy Independence Day, American pals!