Sunday, March 22, 2009

Questions on “The Napoleon of Notting Hill”

I just finished it, and there’s some things I find a little unclear.

1 What is the meaning of the dialogue at the end?
A. Is it an actual part of the story, or an allegorical interpretation of the
story that is not part of it?
B. Did the King really and truly do all he did as a joke, or is that just
something added to make the ending chapter’s message clearer?
C. Considering A+B, why did the king have a re-conversion when he saw Wayne in
the midst of the first battle?
D. What’s the theme of the ending dialogue? Is it true?
E. Is the King on the wrong side of the issue? Is Wayne on the wrong side?
Are they both wrong? Are they both right?

2. Did Notting Hill wage a just war the first time? (It didn’t the second

3. Who is to blame for Notting Hill becoming an empire?

4. Does the King represent Chesterton himself? What about Wayne?

5. Are we to admire or detest the non-Notting Hiller who brought the giant grey
army at the end of the first battle?

Monday, March 02, 2009

A Poem Concerning Cheese

"Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese"

--G.K. Chesterton

White as ivory, white as milk,
White as Clare Assisi, white as silk
(Did you know that Silk®’s illegal?
Even though it’s rich and regal?)
White as anything you please
Is a mozzarella cheese.

Sharp as lemons, sharp as cans
Sharp as vinegar, sharp as band’s
Pipe-flutes played by amateurs
Sharps not a pain, but pleasures
And the sharper is the better
In the cheese that is called cheddar.

You’d think that cows ate sky, not grass
When sensing cheese that’s all high-class,
One is filled with love and loathing
For cheese that’s molding, not betrothing.
With odor strong and jeweled hue
The cheese we’re speaking of is Blue.

One cheese holds a magic spell
The cheese that can an epic tell
With sunny shores and marble rows
With pagan grandeur and repose
With light and wisdom it is graced
Feta, the cheese for classic tastes.

I think I know why we’re not pleased
To write poems on the glorious cheese.
Cheese does not laugh, does not inibreiate
And how can one describe a taste?
All tastes are all mystifying
More than one poem would be boring.