Cheese Poetry

Have the poets really been silent? Got a cheese poem?  Send it in.


A poet’s hope: to be,
like some valley cheese,
local, but prized elsewhere.

W. H. Auden (1907 – 1973)


Sonnet to a Stilton Cheese

Stilton, thou shouldst be living at this hour
And so thou art. Nor losest grace thereby;
England has need of thee, and so have I-
She is a Fen. Far as the eye can scour,
League after grassy league from Lincoln tower
To Stilton in the fields, she is a Fen.
Yet this high cheese, by choice of fenland men,
Like a tall green volcano rose in power.
Plain living and long drinking are no more,
And pure religion reading ‘Household Words’,
And sturdy manhood sitting still all day
Shrink, like this cheese that crumbles to its core;
While my digestion, like the House of Lords,
The heaviest burdens on herself doth lay.

G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)


Swiss Cheese

I never thought the moon
looked like Swiss cheese.
From Pennsylvania it’s merely
a cloudy marble brushed
with blue. But if I ever
saw a moon sandwiched between
rye and honey-baked ham,
I would spread sunny yellow
mustard atop
and give you a taste
of my universe.

-Wes Ward
Wes Ward is a teacher of poetry-and more-at Big
Spring High School in Newville, Pennsylvania, an
agricultural community.



The first flakes fell before Barnaby’s opened for breakfast.
Farmers flapped their hats.
Early laundry whitened on the lines.
A housecat lapped her powdered back and bit herself.
Hiding under fenders, dozing on the picnic tables in the
shelter house or watching from the ends of drains, cats
had made up their minds.
Woodwork sighed mice by the million.
Children sledded on the hill behind the Home, tossed balls
to the dogs, and barefoot made great men.
Tommy Jacob made a Lincoln.
Noon the drifts began to sweat, the drains ran whey, and
the great men wet with buttermilk fed many happy cats.

Chris Clendenin



A year in the basement
and you can hear the roots continue
netting the four gray walls
a year growing darker in knitwork

The toadstools don’t gain a glow so much
as the seepage in the air around them
blackens the background for contrast
and the wine and Time in the same relation

The pipelengths forget if what face scampered
through them gluts them now; the bulb
imploded months ago, what are these flickering
moths in the corners?

Mold on the brie, the bleu, the brick.
A year in the basement: a year in the hole
beneath a man and woman
The wind: a moan

through the swiss cheese.

Albert Goldbarth


17 thoughts on “Cheese Poetry”

  1. To add to your collection a book of 36 poems on a selection of French cheeses


    David Nutt

  2. <—I've reworked some famous poems to be *about cheese*

  3. Hi I love your website, I would like your input on mine! Our websites are similar!

  4. Judith Toler said:

    Love Note to Reggiano

    Oh Reggiano Parmigiano
    I adore you
    the sound of your name
    purrs upon my lips
    I love the taste of you
    salt smoky and slightly wicked
    on my tongue
    and the way you tremble
    crumbling beneath my teeth

    Plain old pasta isnt good
    enough for you, delicious darling
    you are meant to be slowly savored
    with a voluptuous Anjou pear
    or perhaps a pomegranate from Shiraz
    or sweet tangerines from Cadiz

    But maybe best of all just you and me
    by moonlight, mi amore
    with tiny sips of Sauvignon
    to celebrate so savory
    a consummation

    Judith Toler

  5. Ode to Camembert

    I worshiped my creamy Camembert
    I eate it daily without a care
    That is, until I found a hair!

  6. Have a way with words?
    Art and culture at its best!
    Have a whey with curds!

  7. Lane Wilder said:

    Swiss cheese paradox
    Terra firma never sates
    We want to eat the holes

  8. Khaleel Ali said:

    Oh sweet dairy delight,
    Without your presence
    my sandwiches would be
    naught but buttery messes,
    leaving my tastes lingering
    for that which would make
    my breakfast desires fulfilled.
    How would my baked potato pies
    be anything more than starchy pastes,
    crumbling at will, without your
    foundations to hold it still.
    How would my pastas
    become a heavenly delight,
    Without your subtle
    yet undoubtedly distinct
    creamy textures and tantalizing aromas.
    Unhealthy they brand you,
    With the thinkness of blame
    from the grossly overweight
    placed squarely on your
    innocent shoulders.
    But no, i dub thee
    bringer of delight,
    Without which only a life of
    uncreamy sensations,
    And poor culinary ventures
    would await.
    Forever you will be in my heart,
    for no matter what you are called,
    And however you are framed,
    I call thee blessed, cheese;
    Food of no ill blame!

  9. Golden slice of processed dairy
    Resting on my bread so squarely
    Beneath the next, with buttered side
    From my eyes your form does hide.
    For one so close, I knew you not
    But time is short; the pan is hot.
    Forget, may we, this moment felt
    And meet again when you have melt.

  10. formaggio formaggio
    where for art thou formaggio
    doth thou dribble on thy whiskered chin
    or crust upon thy fingers thin
    deliver thy greed with elasticity
    sprung from caves in dark duplicity
    expand thy gut and burst yon bubble
    surely in haste thy waist shall double
    and in death’s throe doth Love melt
    consumed from a gift to thee was dealt
    formaggio formaggio
    where for art thou formaggio

    ALL RIGHTS RESERVED…..for reproduction or any other use, send two respectable pieces of Parmigiano Reggiano, one chunk of Havarti and no less than 5.725143 ounces of Chèvre….preferably w/ herbs

  11. the quote in the mast head was by Gilbert Kieth Chesterton give him the credit and the sonnet to a Stilton cheese was written by G. K. Chesterton NOT W.K.

  12. fdeschape said:

    The cheese-mites asked how the cheese got there, And warmly debated the matter; The Orthodox said that it came from the air, And the Heretics said from the platter. They argued it long and they argued it strong, And I hear they are arguing now; But of all the choice spirits who lived in the cheese, Not one of them thought of a cow.
    Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

    • Marcia Goldberg said:

      Coming straight from Elementary to read Doyle’s verse on cheese is heady stuff. It was only a few days ago I realized cheese exists only thanks to cheese mites. Probably wouldn’t have eaten the stuff had I known this 70 years ago….

  13. fdeschape said:

    The cheese-mites asked how the cheese got there, And warmly debated the matter; The Orthodox said that it came from the air, And the Heretics said from the platter. They argued it long and they argued it strong, And I hear they are arguing now; But of all the choice spirits who lived in the cheese, Not one of them thought of a cow.

    Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

  14. Bill Hudson said:

    I cam across G.K. Chestertons quote and thought it was an interesting question and a bit of a challenge so I wrote the following poem and Haiku:


    Poets have been mysteriously silent
    on the subject of cheese.
    G.K. Chesterton

    At the cheese factory I find myself
    thinking about filling a large vat
    with words from everyday life,
    phrases and comments squeezed
    from the newspaper or airwaves
    through the hands of a working poet.

    Once full an essence of ideas rises
    to the top and is then skimmed off
    into a churn where it is worked and
    thickened into a malleable form
    then molded into stanzas, set aside

    to cure and age for a period of time
    before they are sampled and tested
    by the producer and then shaped into
    a final form for shipment to the public

    now something entirely different
    from where it began: the common milk
    of everyday language, put through a
    mental churn, altered and adjusted during
    aging into a fragrant and tasteful morsel

    excellent all alone but a nice compliment
    to a glass of good wine and a crisp Haiku.

    W.E. Hudson


    Cheese Haiku

    G. K. Chesterton
    wondered aloud why there are
    no poems about Cheese

  15. It is protein, calcium and milk-based,
    there is a cheese for every taste.
    Milk used from sheep or goat or cow
    is coagulated, pressed and shaped somehow.
    Mixed with fruit or herbs or spices
    too much cheese is one of my vices.
    Sold in packets, sliced or grated,
    personally Brie is over-rated.
    With a mature cheddar, you can’t go wrong,
    beware the soft cheeses that don’t last long.
    Some cheeses are injected with mould that’s blue
    so get on down to the delicatessen queue.
    Enjoy it with crackers or crusty bread,
    but not just before you go to bed…

    Natalie Burns

  16. Bee Walker said:

    American Cheese
    by Jim Daniels

    At department parties, I eat cheeses
    my parents never heard of—gooey
    pale cheeses speaking garbled tongues.
    I have acquired a taste, yes, and that’s
    okay, I tell myself. I grew up in a house
    shaded by the factory’s clank and clamor.
    A house built like a square of sixty-four
    American Singles, the ones my mother made lunches
    With—for the hungry man who disappeared
    into that factory, and five hungry kids.
    American Singles. Yellow mustard. Day-old
    Wonder Bread. Not even Swiss, with its mysterious
    holes. We were sparrows and starlings
    still learning how the blue jay stole our eggs,
    our nest eggs. Sixty-four Singles wrapped in wax—
    dig your nails in to separate them.

    When I come home, I crave—more than any home
    cooking—those thin slices in the fridge. I fold
    one in half, drop it in my mouth. My mother
    can’t understand. Doesn’t remember me
    being a cheese eater, plain like that.

    “American Cheese” by Jim Daniels, from In Line for the Exterminator. © Wayne State University Press, 2007.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s