Cynthia Brings You the “Cheesy” Poetry of the “Chaucer of Cheese”

by on 01/12/12 at 9:37 am

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When I found this great quote from  G.K. Chesterton I decided to see if he was onto something. “Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.”

While there have been quite a few recent works about cheese, mostly for fun, there was a poet named James McIntyre who was crowned the “Chaucer of Cheese,”  but he is more famous for his poor verse than anything else.  McIntyre’s work included such classics as “Ode on the Mammoth Cheese: Weight over Seven Thousand Pounds,” “Fertile Lands and Mammoth Cheese,” “Hints to Cheesemakers,” and the under-appreciated “Lines Read at the Dairymaid’s Social, 1887. ” In fact, the town of  Ingersoll, Ontario, holds an annual poetry contest in his honor.  Contact the Ingersoll Public Library for more information including how to enter this years contest or the sister competition “Dairy Ode.”

I decided that his poem lauding the “Cheddarnaut” would be the tastiest morsel for E-Verse.  What is the “Cheddarnaut,” you might ask?  This was a colossal wheel of cheddar cheese tethered to a weather balloon and released into the atmosphere by the West Country Farmhouse Cheesemakers of England in 2009 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s walk on the moon. Things went well at first until the attached GPS stopped working and the cheese was “lost in space.” Read more.

Happily the cheese did return to earth  much to the surprise of an unsuspecting couple in Wycombe, England.


“Ode to the Cheddarnaut” by Paul Marlowe

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of wax
And bobbled up on cheddar-scented wing;
Spaceward I’ve climbed, avoiding crow attacks,
And did great deeds undreamt by Mr Bing.
High in cerulean heavens I’ve hung;
Parlous high, borne up by my great balloon;
I’ve looped the loop and zoomed yet up, and swung
My crazy craft towards the distant moon.
Higher I grew, in skies of Stilton blue—
Empty whey above, clouds of cream below—
Where never quark, nor even Cheshire flew—
And dared the elements to do their worst,
A worst that I was very soon to know
When at the brink of space my vessel burst.

Oddly enough, a block of cheese was just recently actually shipped via rocket into space as a care package for the Dutch astronaut, Andre Juipers. In December 2011, five kilos of Old Amsterdam arrived at  the International Space Station to give him a little taste of home during his six month stint.  I guess he’s just about out by now . . .

Finally, no article about cheese would be complete without Monty Python’s famous Cheese Shop Sketch. Now go cut yourself a healthy chunk of cheese and enjoy.'


Cynthia brings her own Bouillabaisse to E-Verse. Like the original peasant soup of remnants, her column is made up of all things geek, absurd, oddly entertaining and the occasional cooking recipe that is caught in her net and simmered into something mentally fortifying and hopefully enjoyable.

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3 Responses to “Cynthia Brings You the “Cheesy” Poetry of the “Chaucer of Cheese””


    Meryl Natchez

    Dec 3rd, 2012

    Cheese Ball

    Whole factories are dedicated to this,
    pillars of cheddar large enough
    to bear a second story, and wire
    that cuts the slabs. Machines
    add the precise measure of port wine,
    according to Michele Bean, Cheese Ball Expert.

    The process takes a long time.
    Great steel vats churn and burble,
    a conveyer trundles nuts, paddles
    spin the balls along till not a scintilla of cheese shows,
    all glossed with nutty skin. This must
    be a metaphor for something: children
    moving through the school system,
    or what happens when primitive tribes
    encounter matches and carbon steel.

    Maybe we’re all just cheese balls,
    starting from something simple, like milk,
    pummeled and slashed
    and adulterated and finally extruded
    in a shape of use to someone
    with a sense of humor
    and an insatiable appetite.



    Paul Marlowe

    Dec 9th, 2012

    While I applaud E-Verse Radio for their perspicacity and nice sense of taste in drawing attention to the unjustly-neglected art of cheese verse, I should like to take this opportunity to dispel any misapprehensions that may inadvertently have been created. The “Ode to the Cheddarnaut” was, of course, penned by myself as a tribute to the intrepid balloon-cheese, and to the immortal works of McIntyre (with a nod to John Gillespie Magee, too). The article title, and the words “I decided that his poem lauding the “Cheddarnaut”…” immediately after an etching and brief bio of the Chaucer of Cheese may give readers the impression that the great man himself wrote the Cheddarnaut poem (despite “by Paul Marlowe” after its title). Mr McIntyre, of course, went to his cheesy reward a century before the epoch-making cheddar balloon ascent of the early 21st century, and whilst I am flattered to be considered the spirit medium channelling his ghostly verse into a new millennium, I must, if only to avert the bafflement of the cheese-poetry-reading masses, beg to clarify this point of authorship.

    I remain, madam, your humble cheese poet,
    Paul Marlowe


    Cynthia Reply:

    I am so flattered that you have found my little article! I realize that the misunderstanding is actually a typo. It should have said “this” poem not “his” poem. That would have eliminated any confusion, but then we at everse might not have heard from the original author of the cheddarnaut poem.

    Please do continue to visit us at everse and cheese poetry of all sorts is always welcome. I will add it to my bouillabaisse. You may also write to me directly if you so choose. Ernie can send you my personal email if you ask.


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