Cottage Pie

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TrevorConway
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Cottage Pie

Post by TrevorConway » Mon Apr 27, 2020 7:39 am

It begins with Rooster potatoes,
like many an Irish meal,
pealed quick so slender skins
stick to the sink like baby fish
struggling against a current.
Cut, cube, consign to steam,
and while beef stock brushes through water,
cut your carrot round and fry
till it shines like a coin fresh from the mint.
Now,
you are ready
for the minced beef.
Allow its belly to assume the hue of a rainy cloud
before tossing all to a similar fate
and remembering, suddenly, to give life to the oven.

Onions are odd,
have you noticed?
They come clothed, expecting winter,
but you must disrobe it,
dice
and scatter
to concentrate on tomato purée:
squirt it like a bad signature,
pursued by strokes of Worcestershire sauce
and careful dabs of salt.
Add the stock, watch it simmer
from soggy ground to firmer terrain.

By now, your potatoes should be soft and sweaty,
a state compounded by milk and butter.
Using a masher, curl potato on top of the meat,
and wait for the oven to curate a climate
that fixes a sepia crown on it all.
Once so noble, let it lie
beyond the rigours of heat.

For ten minutes, hung on the air,
a smell that will prime your palate;
the meat rests so well
that it’ll reward your tongue.
Present it to all,
but as you place it under chin,
remember not to misname it:
Shepherds mind sheep; they cook with lamb,
not beef.
This is a pie fit for a cottage
and all who gather to share a piece.


All feedback appreciated, especially on tone, overall length, etc. Thanks!

NotQuiteSure
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Re: Cottage Pie

Post by NotQuiteSure » Mon Apr 27, 2020 10:52 am

.
Hi Trevor,
far too stodgy for me. Some very nice lines, that all Irish meals begin with potatoes, the oddity of onions and the importance of getting the name right. But, onions aside, the language of the recipe isn't interesting enough and the ending feels a bit too pat (plus, I couldn't tell what you fried the carrots in. Also, they may be like a coin, but after the opening that coin needs to be Irish and specified).

Regards, Not


.

TrevorConway
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Re: Cottage Pie

Post by TrevorConway » Mon Apr 27, 2020 11:11 am

Thanks a million, Not. Good to get your take on it.

T

Macavity
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Re: Cottage Pie

Post by Macavity » Tue Apr 28, 2020 8:16 am

Some enjoyable, ambitious inventive elements Trevor to sustain a read. I wondered if you could make it more personal, warmer, or give it more personality in the narration/tone - a grandmother/child angle perhaps...avoid the poetry exercise feel, and at times, the recipe delivery.
It begins with Rooster potatoes,
like many an Irish meal,................................like the cultural angle
pealed quick so slender skins
stick to the sink like baby fish............................inventive image
struggling against a current.........................................labouring the image in explanation?
cut your carrot round and fry
till it shines like a coin fresh from the mint....like the novelty of that
Allow its belly to assume the hue of a rainy cloud

squirt it like a bad signature,
enjoyed those too, but not sure about
and wait for the oven to curate a climate.............trying too hard?
best

mac

TrevorConway
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Re: Cottage Pie

Post by TrevorConway » Tue Apr 28, 2020 11:49 am

Thanks very much, Mac. Yes, there are some out-there parts. Always worth keeping them to see what people think. Great to get your take on that aspect of things (the laboured baby fish, the curated climate) as well as others.

Thanks a million,

T
Macavity wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 8:16 am
Some enjoyable, ambitious inventive elements Trevor to sustain a read. I wondered if you could make it more personal, warmer, or give it more personality in the narration/tone - a grandmother/child angle perhaps...avoid the poetry exercise feel, and at times, the recipe delivery.
It begins with Rooster potatoes,
like many an Irish meal,................................like the cultural angle
pealed quick so slender skins
stick to the sink like baby fish............................inventive image
struggling against a current.........................................labouring the image in explanation?
cut your carrot round and fry
till it shines like a coin fresh from the mint....like the novelty of that
Allow its belly to assume the hue of a rainy cloud

squirt it like a bad signature,
enjoyed those too, but not sure about
and wait for the oven to curate a climate.............trying too hard?
best

mac

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Perry
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Re: Cottage Pie

Post by Perry » Wed Apr 29, 2020 10:37 pm

I like the poem, but I would like it better if the line lengths were a little more consistent. Generally, I don't like mixing long and short lines, and I especially don't like putting words on a line by themselves -- I think there are better ways to give emphasis to individual words.

As for the tone, I really like it. I find it to be warm and conversational. There's a very natural quality to the language.

Well done.
If I don't critique your poem, it is probably because I don't understand it.

TrevorConway
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Re: Cottage Pie

Post by TrevorConway » Thu Apr 30, 2020 6:35 am

Thanks very much, Perry. Great to get your input.

T
Perry wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 10:37 pm
I like the poem, but I would like it better if the line lengths were a little more consistent. Generally, I don't like mixing long and short lines, and I especially don't like putting words on a line by themselves -- I think there are better ways to give emphasis to individual words.

As for the tone, I really like it. I find it to be warm and conversational. There's a very natural quality to the language.

Well done.

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JJWilliamson
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Re: Cottage Pie

Post by JJWilliamson » Thu Apr 30, 2020 9:17 am

There's a lot to like, Trevor, and the effort is a valiant one, but for me it's a bit too long.
Some lines could be cut without it affecting the content. My first thought, not too surprisingly,
was to rhyme this poem using meter. Triple meter would work a treat but it's not easy. There's a
heartiness, a jaunty feel, that would work nicely with rhythm. In its present form I find it to be a little
prosaic. Recipe poems need extra spice.

Best

JJ
Long time a child and still a child

TrevorConway
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Re: Cottage Pie

Post by TrevorConway » Thu Apr 30, 2020 10:48 am

Thanks for the honest feedback, JJ. Appreciate it very much.

T
JJWilliamson wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 9:17 am
There's a lot to like, Trevor, and the effort is a valiant one, but for me it's a bit too long.
Some lines could be cut without it affecting the content. My first thought, not too surprisingly,
was to rhyme this poem using meter. Triple meter would work a treat but it's not easy. There's a
heartiness, a jaunty feel, that would work nicely with rhythm. In its present form I find it to be a little
prosaic. Recipe poems need extra spice.

Best

JJ

capricorn
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Re: Cottage Pie

Post by capricorn » Mon May 11, 2020 11:03 pm

I like cottage pie, but didn't think I'd ever enjoy a poem about it. This is really imaginatively written and has some great lines. Perhaps it could be pruned back a bit though, and I agree with Not about the ending (a bit too pat)

Eira

TrevorConway
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Re: Cottage Pie

Post by TrevorConway » Tue May 12, 2020 6:18 am

Thanks very much for the feedback, Eira. Appreciate it.

T

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