Thinking about ‘People who Like Meatballs’

has a word

the sight of it, the smell, the taste of it on your tongue,

the echo in your head, made you rise a sun in the east,

cringe, an animal in fear?


Right now only one Word comes to me for obvious reasons- it is in a poetry book I’m reading. The book revolves around a huge refulgent Elephant. I’ve never read anything like ‘People who Like Meatballs’ and I am happy that I have decided to talk to you about my experience of reading poetry books.

Although I’ve gone on a good deal about Rating, I don’t really think a rating should be the basis of your book choice. Particularly when it comes to reading a book of poems- because so many things are involved like personal choice, cultural constraints, etc.

A good thing about a poetry book is that you can read it in any order. I read half of this book like a regular person and then because I was amazed by the very idea, the premise, the title of this book I read it backwards.While I am madly promoting ebooks(because I’ve written one? no way….could that be why?),  I must tell you that reading Poetry Books is a joy.

You can suspend everything. There are no facts….no logic.

Yet there is beneath it all an invisible thread of logic that connects poetry to song to arithmetic to logic.

In the first segment ‘People who like Meatballs’, Selima Hill talks about man’s humiliation by a woman. The language is surrealistic and bizarre. I’ve never read so many poems that revolve around the very suggestive elephant trunk and its possibilities. The elephant sways, ambles and ‘smiles like a pile of moons’. Even the cover makes one curious about the elephantine.


In the second part ‘Into My mother’s snow-encrusted Lap’, Selima Hill illuminates a mother-child relationship. There are animal references in this part as well- stallions, walrus, horses, caterpillars, but the primary feeling you get here after reading the first part is that you have left the forest and entered the domestic world filled with cakes, sausages, lettuce, hats and extremely poignant chicken soup,

“Her chicken soup is waiting in the dining-room/but all she wants to do is lie down/and go to heaven….”

A beautiful bizarre book filled with beautiful lines like these…..


Now I have a question for you:

Which word has influenced you in any way ( besides swear words) and why? Think about it and post your comment or just let it linger in your head.


neelthemuse@ 2013

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4 thoughts on “Thinking about ‘People who Like Meatballs’ Leave a comment

  1. P E R S E V E R A N C E

    I remember learning it in school and that it was a theme
    I remember wondering what a theme was
    I remember trying very hard to learn to spell it
    I remember trying very hard to remember what it meant even when I thought I knew
    I remember an image of footsteps in the sand
    I remember thinking it was just a big word we had to learn about

  2. The book sounds interesting!

    I’d be perfectly happy to take a Rating as the basis of my book choice if the Rating (unranked military sailor) was a keen and intelligent reader of books.

    Sorry about the awful pun. But it does remind me of my surprise once when in a restaurant in Gibraltar and two very young Royal Navy sailors came in, both male (well, the Navy takes women in combat roles now); one said to the other something like “This new girlfriend of yours – tell me more,” and what followed was not a laddish exercise, but one of the most sensitive and thoughtful explorations of a human relationship you could imagine.

    OK, the word.

    Estuary. It sounds interesting – soft and mysterious. As a birdwatcher, it means for me a place often full of birds. As a poet, it means a place of constant change on several levels: the tide goes in and out; salt water mingles with fresh; the wildlife of the estuary changes with every month; what was once rock, or for that matter concrete, is carried in small particles down the river to form the estuary’s mud or sand, while that mud or sand is eroded by the sea and replaced from inland; the position of the estuary changes over time; it’s a gate through which boats pass coming from the sea or going out to sea. This is reflected in several poems.

    Estuary is birth, death and rebirth.

  3. It is delightful Simon…you must read it if you chance upon it. Estuary is a beautiful word and reflects your affinity for all things natural. You might like Ruth Padel’s Mara Crossing as well….

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