Academic journal article Joseph Conrad Today

MLA 2012 Dinner

Academic journal article Joseph Conrad Today

MLA 2012 Dinner

Article excerpt

Joseph Conrad Society Business Meeting and Dinner

Blueacre Seafoods, Seattle, WA

SHARING CONRADIAN FISH AT SUPPER

Penned by Secret Sharer aboard MS Blueacre on ye 7th of January, 2012

Pace Ben Jonson, "Inviting a Friend to Supper")

Grave sirs, mesdames in Conrad conclave met,

Our Seafood table groans, already set

To ply us thus with wonders of the net.

We thinke each severally not a worthy ghest,

Nor that our meager worth will dignify our fest,

Nor yet help each th' other to digest;

But all together met, our grace may seeme,

A worth which, else, could hope for no esteeme,

Nor give spice to rubb'ry squid or bréame.

Tis our confluent presence (gentles all) will make

The CONVERSATION 'squisite. Not the hake.

Yet shall you have to rectifie your palate,

A mack' rei, pick'rel, or a crab meate sallade

Ushring salmon undorsal'd of its fin,

If we can take thereof her roe, we win

Caviar and wine for sauce: to these a smelte,

To make us ease a notch our straining belt;

Mussels, scallops, and a sole of Dover,

And a mullet for our mulling over.

Prawns, trout, herring, haddock and a sunny bass -

We have them all, you can bet your own sweet -

Nothings to your friends at mirthful board,

While dining on a lobster claw or steaming cod.

As the Bard is bruited to 've said,

In earning of his stagey Tudor bread,

'There's something fishy there in Elsinore."

But "I'm not done," Anne's Donne did pun,

'Tor I have More":

All the sea fruit being there; of CONRAD, pray

Have nought to say, nor MARLOW, KURTZ,

Nor CHESTER, nor of JESSIE, nor yet THE ROVER,

(Not even if they rhyme with foresaid Dover),

Possess'd of fishy, not a WARRIOR'S SOLE.

Oops. I forgot to rhyme it with PEYROL

(Or Peyrol-ing, which would with fishy trolling. …

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