Sunday, March 17, 2013

Tuesday Poem - muttonbird by Vivienne Plumb


it is smaller than a chicken and full of fat/ if you have a fresh one

you should stuff it with half a kina and half a cup of pāua/ boil it

and then change the water and then boil it again/ it is so salty/ you

have to try and boil some of that salt out it is a very salty taste/

leave it to dry then grill it skin side up to make it crispy/ then you

eat it and say/ thank yer mamma

What a pure delight Vivienne's book is. There is nobody who writes like Vivienne, her inimitable voice.


  1. Hmm... is the mutton bird the poem? I have never tasted one. I think there is something mystical about eating mutton birds. Especially the way Vivienne describes it! Thanks for posting :-)

  2. I love the visceral feeling of Vivienne's poetry - it seems so conversational and yet so plunged straight in to the depth of things. This is just that. I can taste that salty crispy-ness of the muttonbird. Really love her Seraph Press collection. Thanks for sharing, Jennifer!

  3. This is a lovely poem, so real and deep and full of life and image -- and the last line is so... succinct and unexpected.

  4. Yes, a sense of irrepressible humour always comes through Vivienne's work.

    Have a Happy World Poetry Day,Jennifer!

    Andrew Bell

  5. such fun this book and her live readings from it are so great - I must get it out of the book shelf again - thanks Jen (-: happy travels.

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