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I thought about posting Ezra Pound's poem, "Ancient Music", here today, but it's still under copyright. Plus, it might make you think I was in a horrible state of mind, since his poem (which I find hilariously funny) is a parody of the first-known polyphonic song written in English, Sumer is icumen in, which starts "Sumer is icumen in, lhude sing cuccu". Pound's poem begins "Winter is icumen in, lhude sing goddam". Heh.

Instead, I though I'd do something helpful for those of you who are hosting Christmas dinner at your houses, and post an original poem:

Holiday Dinner To-Do List
by Kelly R. Fineman

Begin your preparations five days ahead.
Defrost the silver,
Polish the turkey until it gleams.
Iron the table,
Fold the extra leaves into the tablecloth.
Four days ahead, shop.
Remember pie; forget salad – it is better left too late.
Start the oven two days before,
neverminding a day has been skipped.
Develop the cranberry sauce;
Combine the gravy giblets;
Finish the pie, but not whip the cream.
If stuffing the turkey, stale the bread.
Put rings on the glasses, lay knives to guard the plates.
One day before, store the casseroles:
Peel them into the fridge for safekeeping.
Remember salad.
On the holiday itself, baste the white wine.
Preheat the turkey. Stuff the oven.
Baste the potatoes; mash the salad;
Reheat the conversation; enjoy the side dishes.
After the meal: Brew the whipped cream.
Beat the coffee into stiff peaks with a bit of sugar.
Remember the rolls, unbake them.
Clear the guests, wash the table, wait for next year.

I can't tell you how many times the rolls have been either forgotten or burned in my family's history, whether at my grandmother's, mother's or my own table. The button below will take you to today's roundup over at Susan Taylor Brown's blog:

Enjoy your day and any remaining holiday preparations you may have!

Kiva - loans that change lives

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( 30 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 18th, 2009 03:55 pm (UTC)
Hee hee- loved this, Kelly. I haven't had to host a big holiday dinner in so many years, and this would probably describe my efforts to a tee!
BTW- LOVE that mood icon... it describes my life perfectly... ;)
Dec. 18th, 2009 05:29 pm (UTC)
You're taking over the world? Good to know!

I actually made reference to Martha Stewart's list so I wouldn't miss a step.
(no subject) - reginaclarejane - Dec. 18th, 2009 05:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kellyrfineman - Dec. 18th, 2009 05:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 18th, 2009 04:01 pm (UTC)
Love the poem! I'll be sure to follow it, step-by-step.

Dec. 18th, 2009 05:30 pm (UTC)
Let me know how that works out for you!
Dec. 18th, 2009 04:06 pm (UTC)
I love this poem; I could definitely relate. :) In my family, we always seem to be without eggs on Christmas Eve, because I forget that I have fewer eggs than I need and the store is always sold out of eggs by Christmas Eve. Twice now, I've ended up sending my son to the neighbors next door for an egg or two. But this year? This year, I bought them two weeks in advance. :)

Merry Christmas to you! Jeni
Dec. 18th, 2009 05:32 pm (UTC)
It's always something, isn't it? I got all the stuff out to bake cookies the other day and realized I was one egg short of a recipe. Gah!
Dec. 18th, 2009 04:07 pm (UTC)
I love love love this! Clever, amusing, brilliant. Thanks for making my day :). I think roll burning is universal.
Dec. 18th, 2009 05:34 pm (UTC)
Glad you like it!!
Dec. 18th, 2009 04:31 pm (UTC)
LOL - awesome. I'm going to have to look up that Ezra Pound poem. My group sings Summer is Icumen during Fest and I'm sure they'd get a kick out of it.
Dec. 18th, 2009 04:33 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - kellyrfineman - Dec. 18th, 2009 05:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 18th, 2009 04:34 pm (UTC)
Once again...
You capture the crazy that is every holiday dinner with a full-length movie (for this viewer-reader)!

This is an especially surreal masterpiece—visually speaking...laying the knives to guard and clearing the guests.

Forget Mr.Pound, Mr.Carroll is chuckling!
Dec. 18th, 2009 05:37 pm (UTC)
Re: Once again...
I'm so glad you liked it. Once I was able to scramble things at the start and have it work ("defrost the silver" still makes sense to me, as does "polish the turkey" to indicate the actual actions needed as well as the sort of ceremony we layer onto things), I kept on going. Not sure all of it hangs together, really, but it was fun to write an "instruction poem" this way.
Oh, I agree.... - slatts - Dec. 18th, 2009 05:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Oh, I agree.... - kellyrfineman - Dec. 18th, 2009 06:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 18th, 2009 04:50 pm (UTC)
Are rolls really for anything but burning or forgetting? If done perfectly, they're still just store-boughten afterthoughts to all of the yummy made from scratch side dishes on the table, so I think they work better as a traditional Thanksgiving conversation point. "Oh no! The rolls!" could be as important a part of the meal as the cranberry sauce.
Dec. 18th, 2009 05:38 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad that burnt and/or forgotten rolls are part of so many people's holiday celebrations!
Dec. 18th, 2009 05:08 pm (UTC)
That's great, Kelly. Stuff the oven is what I do best.

Chicken Spaghetti
Dec. 18th, 2009 05:38 pm (UTC)
Stuff the oven!
Dec. 18th, 2009 08:24 pm (UTC)
Reheat the conversation
What a fun surreal feast!
Dec. 18th, 2009 11:17 pm (UTC)
Re: Reheat the conversation
Dec. 18th, 2009 09:01 pm (UTC)
As someone who tried to put the ice cream in the refrigerator the other night, I can't even tell you how much I love this poem. Just perfect!
Dec. 18th, 2009 11:18 pm (UTC)
Could be worse. I almost put laundry into the refrigerator a few weeks ago - temporary insanity on my part.
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 19th, 2009 02:08 am (UTC)
How many times have we all done just that at family get-togethers?
Dec. 19th, 2009 05:16 am (UTC)
Tanita Says :)
Okay, that Ezra Pound is cracking me the heck UP.
Dec. 19th, 2009 05:51 am (UTC)
Re: Tanita Says :)
It cracks me up, too. And now I appear to have invoked a massive snowstorm. I ought to have posted more of the poem, apparently.
Dec. 21st, 2009 04:40 am (UTC)
Love it! I feel like your poem with all the hustle and bustle of the holidays! So much fun, but lots to do!
Have a great holiday!!!
Dec. 21st, 2009 08:37 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for the kind words - have a great Christmas!
( 30 comments — Leave a comment )

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