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Eating and Other Disorders

April 10, 2012

by Lucia Galloway

after Raymond Queneau

The novice cook seeks Julia’s expertise
for blanching to perfection haricots.
Mushy beans cannot but some displease.
Some gourmands love to eat raw cookie dough.

The infant sucks her own extremity,
the doting parents think it’s all for show.
The babe—as if to say Je vous en prie
she coos and savors yet another toe.

A rabbit in its hutch adores a pellet,
a hungry man craves steak straight from a skillet.
The bored resort to nibbling canned sardines.

We’ve guzzled noodles Taranto to Bankok.
That soupcon of something earthy in the stock!
Quel aphrodisiaque? Quelles herbes fines?

Author’s note: Based on a sonnet derived from Cent Mille Milliards de Poemes, as presented in their original and in translation by Beverly Charles Rowe. For a concise explanation of Raymond Queneau’s sonnet grid project, go to the home page of Rowe’s website. (The website works in Windows and is best accessed through Firefox, although even this is somewhat problematic.) Using an earlier version of this website, I arranged lines from Queneau’s Sonnet 9, then rewrote each line using my own words and rhymes (as if Queneau’s poem were a palimpsest).

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Lucia Galloway (website) has published two poetry collections, Venus and Other Losses (Plain View, 2010) and Playing Outside (Finishing Line, 2005). She reads, writes, and sorts her laundry at home in suburban Los Angeles, where she also co-hosts Poetry in Claremont, Fourth Sundays, a reading series. Find her most recent poems at The Dirty Napkin, The Innisfree Poetry Journal and The Comstock Review.

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  1. April 10, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Magnifique, Lucia. Love the French and your pronunciation is divine! Such clever rhymes, like “pellet” & “skillet,” “haricots,” “dough!” Brav-o.

  2. April 16, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Thank you, Judith. We had fun with this assighment, yes?!

  3. April 16, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Fun, even jaunty! I like your Comedie Francaise scansion too.

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