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THE POETRY OF POTATO SALAD
by O.P.W. Fredericks

Making a good bowl potato salad is not unlike writing a good poem. The selection of ingredients are important to both. When selecting the potato there are many varieties, russet, white, red, and yukon gold to name just a few, are like selecting the right words. Do I peel them or leave the skins on? Do I expose the meaning immediately, or conceal it in a thin layer that must be savored for all its flavor. Are they in big pieces or small, bumpy or smooth, old or new?

For the basic ingredients of potatoes and words they have to feel right, but they must be given the opportunity to sit a spell and be spelled right. How do I want to dress them, plain with mayo, salt and pepper, monorhyme, strophes and periods; or do I add the extras; celery and commas, onion and Ottava rima, hard boiled or Haiku – scrambled or Spondee? Do I use eggs and Enclosed Rhyme at all? A little mustard with your Meter might be nice, or sliced pickles of poetic diction, but do I want a sweet sestina or the dill of dactyls? Paprika you say, well why not some prose, if for nothing else, color is pleasing to the eye. Capers in couplets? Why not. Crumbled bacon is always nice as is a comedic ballad.

Finally there’s the presentation. Enjambment and enjoyment, how does it taste? Do you savor their flavor on the tongue as you chew, or do you swallow them greedily intent to get your fill? Are they deserving of study to appreciate the subtle complexities in the flavor of the words?

It’s up to you.

Visit the author’s blog at opwfredericks.com.

ABOUT O.P.W. FREDERICKS (in the author’s own words): I was called the nursing profession in the fall of 1976. After thirty-two years of caring for the sick and injured at the bedside and in other capacities, I chose a new path, that of writer and poet. As I embark on this new journey I continue to walk the path of nurse, though in a lesser capacity during this time of transition. I cannot help but be influenced by the teachings from my professors, but more so by the people I have known as patients and fellow human beings.

Watercolor: “Feta potato salad with garlic, chives, and tomatoes” by Debra Morris, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Find a recipe for Feta Potato Salad at thecornerkitchen.com.