Friday, October 1, 2010

Tuna Croquettes and The Poem

Not a tuna croquette.
Today is Friday and so we turn our attention to tuna croquettes. In high school this humble foodstuff made the last day of the week almost livable. These breaded and fried or baked blops of canned tuna and white glue tenderly covered in a warm nubby throw of mushroom soup at least made it possible to keep eyes open until lunchtime.

Soon thereafter we checked out mentally. The hipper kids of course simply walked out the door. Summer Fridays were invented by high school truants.

Of course so much has been written on the subject of tuna croquettes and poetry I doubt this humble poet has even the tiniest crumb or grease spatter. Goethe's surprisingly plain "Ist gut" is Teutonic equivocation: was the poet considering making a deal with a generic soup canner? Mephistopheles? Whitman wrote of "containing diced celery" and as every schoolgirl and boy knows the beloved Belle of Amherst published but six recipes for variations on tuna croquettes (with bees, prairies, Death, Wild Nights! More Death and em dashes) in her lifetime. Most tragically, Sylvia Plath drowned in the heavy batter while her children slept. Elizabeth Alexander brought renewed--and positive--attention to this classic by sharing a portion as America lovingly watched its first tuna croquette loving President inaugurated.

If anything can break a line it is a tuna croquette.  Did Woolworth's counters offer tuna croquettes?  I remember their Cokes, pie slices and grilled cheese sandwiches, each of which inspires versification. And that, my puzzled friends, is enough for me.

No comments:

Post a Comment