Thursday, February 14, 2008

Over There! Beside the Red Wheelbarrow! Could it Be...?


in the approximate vicinity
of the albino poultry.

Donald Hall

Whatever chicken, broad or narrow,
That pecked beside that red wheelbarrow,

May have appeared, to judge or wino,
It certainly was not albino.

Mr. Hall, a farmer-poet-
New Hampshireman, should surely know it.

It may have been Ameraucana,
Imported from Brazil or Ghana,

Both noted for abundant fauna.
Perhaps the Rumpless Araucana

-- But could so much indeed depend
On barnyard fowl with no rear end?

Aseel, Cochin, or Barnevelder
(You won't forget one once you've held her),

The Cubalaya's a petite bird,
but also Cuba's fighting meat bird.

Antwerp Belgian, Belgian D'Uccle
Booted or Sabelpoot, a muckle,

Not likely it's a Chantecler,
Even in Canada they're rare.

Cornish, Delaware (rare), Dorking,
Dutch or Hamburg might be working,

To get an egg one fries or boils
He might have chosen Faverolles,

For an egg that's truly fresh,
Langshan, Phoenix, or La Fleche,

For oven or for frying pan
American Holland, or Houdan.

Chabo or Japanese (still called
Japs in some parts of the world).

Since so much depends upon her,
Better not choose a Lamona,

Red-ear-lobed and quite distinct,
But quite possibly extinct.

If the farm was near foreclosing
Dr. Will might well have chosen

Leghorn , big and white and mean,
The ultimate egg-lay machine.

He could have gone to court a dame
With the Modern English Game,

The game bird with style and carriage
(Courtship might then lead to marriage).

Or, if he's only after sex,
Transylvanian Naked Necks

Enchant the girl who loves to swing
Or Russian Orloff, that wild thing.

Orpington is big and friendly,
Nothing fancy, nothing trendy

Plymouth Rock, Rhode Island White,
Yokohama, Rosecomb might

Be dependable commodities,
Not Silkie (oddity of oddities).

Wyandotte's the "bird of curves,"
Still, that might get on your nerves.

Sultan? No, it's all for show.
Dr. William C. should go

For something local, large, compliant,
Dependable -- the Jersey Giant.

With apologies to Donald Hall, William Carlos Williams, and poetry in general, and thanks to Ithaca College’s ICYouSee Handy-Dandy Chicken Chart

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