When I heard a recording of a friend’s mom, a Cajun, reciting her Tuna Casserole-Court Bouillion (koo be yon) original poem, I was mesmerized with the rhythm, the beat, her Louisiana accent. The entire feel of the poem, including her wah, wah, wah mimic of the guitar and her pie pan drumbeat, has kidnapped my music memory and forced me to write
With the wah, wah, wah, and the kou-be-yon,
I’ve got de’ roux and de’ wine stuck in my mind.
So I googled it up ‘cause I wanna know
If there be any poets writin’ ‘bout gumbo.
It might be hard to believe, but there’s worse gumbo poetry than the four lines I just penned. After a two-hour search, I’ve yet to find a decent poem about gumbo. Poets use the word “gumbo” — it’s good for an end rhyme and it sets a scene. But I can’t find a poem that pays homage to gumbo like the poem I heard does to the Court Bouillion. Nothing sings the praises of gumbo’s pepper, roux, onion, flour, file, the dark brown beauty.
I did read an interesting interview with performance-poet Raven (a Californian with roots in New Orleans) who lives in Ireland. In “Gumbo and Haggis” he tells Cuisine Noir magazine “You can’t rush gumbo. It takes time and attention. It’s the same simmering process as making a soup — or writing a poem. Writing a poem is like creating a recipe and cooking. . .” Raven sounds like the ideal poet to write a lyrical tribute to gumbo, but we might have to wait. He says he only writes about three good poems a year.
So, if any of you know somebody down on the bayou who happens to have a toe-tapping poem about gumbo, please share. But watch out for the “earworm” – that’s the technical term for getting a song stuck in your head. No kiddin’ – it’s from the German.
Getting a song in stuck in your head has several names according to How Stuff Works, everything from “repetunitis” to “melodymania” to the popular German term “earworm.” http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/songs-stuck-in-head.htm
Mr. B’s dark roux chicken-sausage gumbo recipe http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Mr-Bs-Gumbo-Ya-Ya
Thanks for reading!