Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Ode to Nutella

Today I'm going to share with you one of my favourite poems. So grab an armchair and sit by the fire (or turn on the air-conditioner if that makes you feel better). Composed in 2012 just after the early noughties, Ode to Nutella is one of Ketki Madane's finest works. Historians believe it was composed in the kitchen, but alternative readings affirm it was the bedroom.

   Ode to Nutella

   Nutella, I write you this poetry,
   To you I'll plead guilty,
   Your familiar chocolatey brown,
   Turns my frown upside down
   I'll spoon you for an eternity.

There you have it ladles and jellyspoons. Lines so moving they would have inspired Robert Browning to rephrase Andrea del Sarto: "Ah, but a man's reach should elude his grasp, or what's a jar of Nutella for?"

One post-structuralist academic was particularly taken by the complexity of Madane's tapestry. William H Kroneburg of the University of Stuttgart wrote: "Madane's ode combines postmodern directness with Irish jingle in a mixture shocking the senses. Who could not be startled with someone getting down and dirty with a jar regardless of the contents. Professor Bloom has rightly stated the juxtaposition of legalese and browniness (perhaps a reference to Robert Browning) is a metaphor for court upholstery. The evocation of vegemite through its legitimate absence turns the nutty narrator back on structuralist fabulation, leaving the reader licking her feminist lips in lustiness."

Madane was flattered by Kroneburg's review, asking if she could put it on the cover of her anthology containing similar limerick-style poetry, aptly entitled, "That's what she said".

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