Sunday, August 5

a Poem for Mag 129





A Dinner Table at night 1884 John Singer Sargent.

Many thanks to Willow at Mag 129  for this prompt.
I had just read an article in the Saturday Guardian about when dinner actually occured.
It seems to depend on whether you are a northerner or a southerner.
Working, middle or upper class here in England
We had dinner at midday in Belfast and tea, not as in afternoon tea, for we often also had that!...but as in at 6.00  early evening.
That was sometimes the main meal of the day and sometimes just a light meal.
 

The Dinner Party

I‘m never sure what I should wear.
The velvet with my upcombed hair,
The silver lame evening gown.
To dress it up or dress it down.
For what is dinner now I ask
Is dinner lunch, or is that passed?
Is dinner five in’t afternoon
When family’s home from work and schooling?
Or should one wait ‘til half past nine
To eat one’s fill, to sit and dine.

Confusion is the very word
I’ve often seen it writ or heard..
That one can turn up ill- prepared
For beans on toast or pasta whirls.
When all along you thought it would
Be consommé and gourmet food.

Blest, best,  of all, the family,
Who wear their clothes with easy ways.
Or friends who laugh at all my jokes.
Say “scrumptious” to the cheese on toast,
Ask,”how’s the kids?” and “are you well?”
And ,”isn’t this year’s summer - hell?”
And when they’ve gone their laughing way
To home and hearth, to work or play,
To stack the dishes in the sink.
Raise glass and “toast” and have a drink.

I’ll pack away the velvet dress
The lame  with pretentiousness.
The consume`, the lobster bisque,
The sinking soufflé, stinking fish.
The game terrine with gamey chips
Their taste that lingers on your lips.
That conversation so polite
With talk, to quench your  appetite.

So, feed me at a table round.
With children’s chatter, family sounds.
With heated subjects bandied round
Where food and drink and love abounds
And there I’ll dine, I’ll lunch, I’ll sup,
And drink my overflowing cup.


  


45 comments:

  1. I love this - I much prefer a family meal to a fancy one too :)

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  2. A perfect dinner poem ... Thanks for sharing :-)

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    1. this goes with the imperfect dinner...I think ...thankyou.

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  3. I agree, the best meals are made with love, laughter and good conversation!

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    1. thankyou Mary...we had a weekend of round table meals with family from south and north!!

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  4. I'm with you- give me the round table surrounded with my kids!

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    1. there were lots of kids and grandkids this weekend...so much chat and laughter to keep me going for a while! thankyou Kathe

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  5. I love this! What a fun - as well as thought-provoking - poem. Great job with this prompt.

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    1. thankyou Toni for realising what fun it is...yes great prompt from Willow.

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  6. i will def take the table in the last stanza over anything fancy and stuffy...any day...i would much rather have life (and dinner) among the living than the dead that dont know it...

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    1. well Brian ...I would definitely not expect anything less from you after following you for so long now...thankyou

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  7. Oh, what a beautiful poem Gerry! I love the contrasts of elegant dining and family muck ins. Dining without pretense, surrounded by love IS the preferable way to go for me too! Thank you for sharing these well rhymed verses. =D

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    1. Thankyou Linda for such a lovely comment.

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  8. love this one... i usually don't get along with long ones as i get lost while reading... hehehe... but this one get me on from start to end...

    JJRod'z

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  9. thankyou Roa...I@m not so good at long ones usually but the prompt inspired me!!

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  10. I love all of this. It is odd how we all call it by different names. From South of England too, we called it dinner at 5pm, or thereabouts. And here in Canada they call it supper time. LOL
    But, I loved all of the fancy ways we can dress up, or down to eat and, of course the best way is in comfort surrounded by those we love to share their day and have some laughter.
    Lovely read :)

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  11. life is to be lived with a sense of comfort in the way that we address the days we live! you are right...it matters not what we call the meal if we eat it in a sense of love and security with those we care for...thank you daydreamer!

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  12. Ohh yes confusion over what, when, where to wear and lobster ? yum!

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    1. I might recant on the lobster!!!

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  13. The best meals are the one's served with family and friends by your side. Wear those comfy clothes and enjoy!

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    1. ...that's when children crawl under the table to get out even when they could push back the chair!! I remember doing that myself!

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  14. I've always insisted that we all sit down together for dinner. No TV blaring; we discuss everything that's happened in the day, and what we intend to do the next. Usually we have candles too. I feel sorry for those who are just given something from the microwave, and are made to eat whilst watching Eastenders (or similar). But, I am a southerner!

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  15. My sentiments exactly Gerry. We have our lunch (main meal of the day) at mid-day here on the farm and then high tea (something like poached eggs, beans etc. on toast) at 5pm - the farm men need a good big meal to keep them going all afternoon and they easily work it off. Super poem. My order for a tile is on its way.

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  16. Pat...my father was a farmer's son and the main meal had to be substantial....he said salad was for the rabbits! and "no foreign muck please"! ah well I must have disappointed him with my "fancy foods" sometimes!
    Thankyou for the letter...I'm thrilled that you like them. It's on it's way today.

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  17. Fabulous write! Oh, I did enjoy this. Delightful.

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  18. Your last verse says it all, m'dear - count me in that one! :)

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    1. thankyou Jinksy...not sure if maybe I had a bit too much "sup" on sunday as we all sat for food and laughter before going our separate ways!

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  19. I love this, and I couldn't agree more!

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  20. This is a very enjoyable read Gerry...fun stuff! I love your interpretation of this prompt.

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    1. thankyou Jennifer...I think the Guardian article really got me going and then the great prompt really set me on my way!

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  21. Indeed, that cup overflowing is what we seek...lucky you, to have sorted it out...just wonderful!!

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  22. Blest, and best, indeed. Lovely.

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  23. Great write, and I especially loved this part...

    The consume`, the lobster bisque,
    The sinking soufflé, stinking fish.

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  24. How clever to take the prompt with the 'burning issue' in Saturday's paper! I don't think the question will ever be resolved but this poem is wonderful and has great rhythm.

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  25. How lovely! The last verse would be my choice too :)

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  26. Overflowing talent! Just lovely.

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  27. Charming and clever poem. I really enjoyed it.

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  28. Thankyou Madeleine for the kind comment...much appreciated.

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