“Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.” So Chesterton once lamented. Perhaps many of the poets have been sadly silent, but not all. One, in fact, talked about cheese so often and so affectionately that he was dubbed ‘The Cheese Poet’.
The ancient poets ne’er did dream
that Canada was land of cream,
they ne’er imagined it could flow
in the cold land of ice and snow,
where everything did solid freeze,
they ne’er hoped or looked for cheese.
—Oxford Cheese Ode
Although they were contemporaries, G.K. Chesterton seems to have not known about James McIntyre, Canada’s Cheese Poet. Or, perhaps he purposefully excluded him. Chesterton did have a bit of snobbery in him, a trait common in tweed-clad men (with due respect to father, of course). McIntyre’s poetry was known for being both cheesy and cheesy. And sometimes, I must admit, his rhyming sequence didn’t fit.
The quality is often vile
of cheese that is made in April
therefore we think for that reason
you should make later in the season.
It is disappointing that the poet who was most verbose on the subject of cheese wrote odious odes. But I will admit that if gives me amused pleasure to know that someone actually took it upon themselves to poetically praise cheese. McIntyre dearly loved his cows and cream. I can respect that.