Wednesday, 15 April 2015

National Poetry Month - A Poem for Mum

This month is National Poetry Month. (See the bottom of this post for a link to the Grammarly website and their poetry quiz.) I posted a poem last week dedicated to my teddy bears but this week I thought I would post up one with a far more important dedication.

This poem is dedicated to my dear Mum who passed away four years ago this week. I still miss her very much. This is not one of my better poems. It is certainly no literary piece of work. I wrote it before Mum died and she read it and approved of the sentiment so I know that, even though the metre is a little clunky and the rhyming a little forced, it had my Mum’s blessing and that’s good enough for me.

Mums 1950s Menu

Rationing was boring. No fun food to eat.
My Mum's cooking was judgement to this.
On a Sunday she roasted a joint of meat,
Which she sliced up on Monday with chips.

On a Tuesday we knew it would be shepherds' pie.
While on Wednesday we always had stew.
There was omelette on Thursday, fresh egg, no more dried,
With a fried up tomato or two.

On a Friday I thought that the meal was quite good;
Steamed white fish, mashed potato and sauce
With the yummiest Apricot Sponge for our pud,
Which she got from the Co-op, of course.

The 60s saw Mum spread her culinary wings.
Bolognese that was not from a tin,
Vesta packets of dried, little cube-looking things
Topped with noodles all crispy and thin.

But we still had some order to the weekly food file,
Certain things for each day of the week,
Until Mum launched herself into 70s style
Then we never knew what we would eat.

There was chilli-con-carne and curry and rice,
A big pizza for our Sunday lunch.
Mum's menu was transformed by lashings of spice.
And we even had something called brunch.

Until Mum became lost all alone in her flat,
Too tired to shop or to cook.
So she moved to a Care Home and there she found that
Things were more familiar than they looked.

She had roast beef on Sunday, sliced up the next day.
It all felt really safe and secure.
And whenever the stew was served up she would say
That the day must be Wednesday for sure.

She talked about cooking and how it once was
When a loaf of bread cost a few pence. 
She talked of the days when you knew where you were, cause
She knew where she was once again.

This week the Grammarly website has a special poetry quiz to pair you up with your poet soulmate. If you have a go at it then do let me know who you were paired up with. I got Pablo Neruda and his poem If You Forget Me. This is a poem that I have read many times and, although it is a translation and so the wording is not as precise as the original, I still love it very much, so the quiz does, indeed, seem to work.

20 comments:

  1. Do not worry about the quality of the poem, Rosalind, it has wonderful sentiments. What wonderful memories for you of your childhood and also of your mother. It brought back memories for me as I was a post-war child,although we were vegetarians till I was 12, so the diet was different. I can remember many of my friends recounting that they knew what they were going to eat on each day of the week.

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    1. Thank you. I'm always pleased to bring back fond memories for people.

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  2. Lovely sentiments, Ros - I ought to do the same for my Mum who is 90 and still living alone, though with lots of pussort from my brother and sister-in-law who live nearby. Even your mum's cooking routine sounds familiar!

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    1. I'm sure your Mum would love to help you.

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  3. Such lovely memories of your mum and her cooking. And no doubt all that food is a metaphor for some wonderful care for her family.

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    1. It does bring back lovely memories, Jo.

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  4. it is a wonderful poem, full of food history and lots of love. Very nice - never apologize for heartfelt words

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    1. Thank you, Joanne. I suppose it is history, isn't it. Makes me feel so old!!

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  5. Great memories in this poem Ros, hang onto them for they are precious.

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    1. Our memories are very precious, aren't they, Maria.

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  6. A lovely commemoration of your family life and your mum, Ros. As always, tinged with both insight and humour. Wonderful!

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    1. Thank you, Val. Mum enjoyed reading an early draft of it all those years ago so that makes it all the more special.

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  7. This was such a lovely tribute to your mum, Rosalind. It was a beautifully written poem, and you really haven't given yourself enough credit. I'll bet my brother could tell you exactly what we had for dinner every day of the week, but I only remember my favorites in no particular order. Although I do remember that Friday was pizza night, and we got to eat in front of the TV.

    Julie

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    1. Thank you, Julie. Pizza in front of the TV sounds like a really good memory.

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  8. What a lovely poem, it brought back memories for me; particularly of the Vesta meals!.Last year,just for fun, I "cooked" and ate a Vesta Chow Mein, that you allude to, and also Vesta beef curry. I remember when having them when first introduced the whole family thought they were very exotic. They were horrid now. I have read the poem you mention a number of times. The first time it was making me very sad until part of the way through it uplifted my heart and realized that it is a great love poem. Thank you Rosalind for another wonderful blog. Petra.

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    1. Thank you, Petra. I don't think I'd want to try one of those Vesta meals now but in the day we thought it was so futuristic!

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  9. I remember joints served up minced as shepherd's pie on Monday too..... brilliant poem.....xxx

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    1. Oh yes, my Great Aunt used to do that, mincing the meat with an old silver mincer that she fixed to the side of the kitchen table.

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  10. Hi Ros - fascinating to read ... and my sister in law does similar to this day ... but baked potato with it perhaps ... I don't really remember our early days - we were at school during the term time .. so there wasn't a regularity about life ...

    We certainly spiced up food ... I got very interested and my mother had always been an excellent cook and ended up training to cook for an old people's home ... so she knew her stuff ...

    As my mother couldn't eat ... these were subjects we didn't discuss - but she and I shared a love of food - as too my younger brother ... who really did train to a high degree ... much more professional than either Mum or I ... well certainly me! So until she was ill ... food was always a good discussion point for Mum and I ...

    Lovely poem to read about and to remember other things relevant to our mothers and life of those days ..cheers Hilary

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    1. Sadly my Mum couldn't eat towards the end of her life, a great cruelty as she had always loved food during her fitter years. I am now able to think beyond that sad episode and remember the better times. Hope it's the same for you, Hilary.

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