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Fried Beauty

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Glory be to God for breaded things—
   Catfish, steak finger, pork chop, chicken thigh,
         Sliced green tomatoes, pots full to the brim
With french fries, fritters, life-float onion rings,
    Hushpuppies, okra golden to the eye,
            That in all oils, corn or canola, swim

Toward mastication’s maw (O molared mouth!);
    Whatever browns, is dumped to drain and dry
             On paper towels’ sleek translucent scrim,
These greasy, battered bounties of the South:
                            Eat them.

Poem copyright © 2005 by R. S. Gwynn, whose most recent book of poetry is No Word of Farewell: Poems 1970-2000, Story Line Press, 2001. Poem reprinted from Light: A Quarterly of Light Verse, No. 50, Autumn, 2005, by permission of R. S. Gwynn.
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Fried Beauty

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  • Poet, scholar, editor, and critic R.S. Gwynn was born in Eden, North Carolina. He received a BA from Davidson College, where he twice won the Vereen Bell Award for Creative Writing, and he earned both an MA and an MFA from the University of Arkansas, where he won the John Gould Fletcher Award for Poetry. Gwynn has also won the Michael Braude Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
    Gwynn is the author of several collections of poetry, including No Word of Farewell: Selected Poems 19702000; The Narcissiad (1982), a book-length satirical poem; The Drive-In (1986), winner of the Breakthrough Award from the University of Missouri Press; and Dogwatch (Measure Press, 2014). A New Formalist, Gwynn works within and against the demands of complex verse forms such as the villanelle, pantoum, and rondeau, in a voice at once wry and emotionally charged. Introducing No Word of Farewell, Dana Gioia noted...

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