Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Julia Child

The famous chef was born in 1912 &
Arrived in the world’s arena
In a wealthy family. (No one called it
The mean streets of Pasadena.)

One looks back now & can easily say,
“Julia, very soon you’re
Going to be in the big leagues but now
Enjoy one that’s Junior.”

With Pasadena’s Junior League, the
Fundamental fact is
She worked on plays for children as
A writer & an actress.

The Junior League’s loss was our gain:
She was later keen for us to believe
In French cooking even if we couldn’t
Define or pronounce joie de vivre.

Because Julia was so unpretentious, she
Made culinary tips approachable
And even when recipes were complicated
She prevailed by being sociable.

Dashing about the kitchen, she had the energy
Of not one person but a dozen. It’s
Chaotic but fun, she was always larger than life:
Think Big Bird but with oven mitts.


Friday, August 10, 2018

Teaching Philip Larkin To Dance

This fell to Maeve Brennan, a fellow librarian
Whose life was arguably a bit dull
Until she later became one of the three women
Involved with the Don Juan of Hull.

At Oxford, Larkin loved jazz but didn’t dance
And back then had the view
That dancing --- without any question --- was
Something very difficult to do.

He even consulted dance instruction books
But concluded concretely
That black feet, white feet and dotted lines
Just baffled him completely.

One imagines Maeve wasn’t merely hoping
He would be ooh-ing and aah-ing
At her expert instruction in both the waltz
And all manner of cha-cha-cha-ing.

I guess her secret mission was to make Larkin
Not see it as a possible hex
To have physical contact with a woman that
Wasn’t actually part of sex.

Intimacy was something he grew up without
So it’s pretty easy to understand
That regarding aspects of love & romance, he
Was a stranger in a strange land.

Some of her lessons must’ve sunk in but I bet
His mind drifted off to mopeds
Being driven by young & flirtatious girls who
Were Hull undergraduate coeds.