28 February 2009

A Grey Saturday making soup: Six Writers

Last night I was visited by five dead writers and one writer holding onto life in his usual stubborn style. After a short meeting and a bottle of champagne, we decided to meet for a soup-making reunion today, this grey Saturday mottled with cloud and frowned upon from luvvie heaven by the whey-faced Wendy, that great Richard of our time may she rest in peace and flounce about heaven with great pageantry.

Ted Hughes:

Cracking pepper into
Brothy depths recalls the
Brackish marshy moor;
Here I lie, Nature’s son,
Sucking in soup and my soul
As I gulp it down, barking.

Gore Vidal (no music here, just a ticking clock):

This soup; my endgame, and
America’s last soup, embittered
With corrupt carrots and the
Last aristocrat of the modern
Empire: Me! Cold dish
Clutched in my cold dead hand alone
Except for my close circle of carefully selected famous friends.
I shall never speak of them.

Sylvia Plath:

Suppe, monstrous soup of
My loins and one final meal
Before bed; lead – my head
Swims in it:
Ach suppe,
You really did it this time.

Patricia Highsmith:

As we slice the onion, slicing
By rote – who knows why the knife
Slips to a passing throat,
Ripping the jugular? Tom and
I’ll consult the severed
Head in the handbag, readers.

Nancy Mitford:

, soup-making is
Mindboggling and to top it
All Non-U. I ran a soup
Kitchen in the blitz – utter
Hell, too awful, and the
Clothes too English. Admit.

Edith Sitwell (set to music as yet unwritten):

You’ll remember I make soup
With the hands of a cripple; croup
Dictates these Elizabethan moon-boiled
Poetic talons must not be soiled,
But photographed.
I’m not at all the type to cry
But this soup rankles. Why?

Picture: Andy Warhol. (1928-1987). Campbell's Soup Cans. 1962. 20 x 16" (50.8 x 40.6 cm).

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