Arts & Culture

Raining Spatulas

During the glorious month of April, most people’s minds are turning to the subject of their upcoming finals and impending demise at the hands of their homework. To alleviate the stress, many people turn to the always-comforting tradition of listening to poetry, a category that includes both pop songs and death rock. They fill the ears with extremely accurate, fact-checked melodies such as “A Tide Pod a day keeps the Grim Reaper away” and “Kit-Kats: Guaranteed success on your AP test!” For your reading pleasure, below is a selection of my favorite classic poetry, sponsored by Very Good Spatulas™.

Very Good Spatulas
By James Oppenheim*

As we go mixing, mixing, in the beauty of the day,
A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill lofts gray,
Seem to not have enough mess and dirt mounded upon,
So we use our Very Good Spatulas™ to fling it on! Fling it on!

As we go flinging, flinging, we battle too for dough,
The kind of dough I’m meaning is the valuable green stuff you know.
So we can buy even more Very Good Spatulas™ for our friends and our families;
Excellent for mixing dough, leveling flour, cracking eggs, or anything you please.

As we get cracking, cracking, unnumbered women dead
Go crying through the streets singing their ancient call for bread.
Small art and love and beauty their drudging spirits knew–
But one thing they could appreciate: the Very Good Spatula™ Edition 2.

As we go shopping, shopping, we bring our coupons for our spatulas,
The rising of the women means the rising of the Very Good Spatula™.
Which you can purchase at any good store nearby,
Be it OfficeMax, Safeway, Martha Stewart, or Best Buy.

If I offended you, I’ll have you know
Irking you was certainly a very pleasant goal.

This poem combines an annoying refrain about the Very Good Spatula™ with a pleasant, rollicking tune tinged with repetition, showing how even vexatious phrases can become mildly attractive with the addition of rhyme. This technique is recommended for selling things and for protesting: see ad jingles and protest slogans. Each stanza also has repeating phrases, beginning with “As we go…” This technique, known as anaphora, can be useful in providing a scaffold for you to build your poetry on. Lastly, the poem ends in a couplet, which is a good way to end anything.

Spatulas: Make Life Better
By Emily Dickinson*

Spatulas are the things that are awesome
That perch within the soul
And spin and spin and mix things up
And never stop, at all

And in the sweetest, softest muffin mixes found
And the saltiest, driest egg flour toss
Spatulas, everywhere they abound
And foil many attempts at weight loss

I’ve used it on the kitchen floor
And in the kitchen sink
Sometimes I accidentally
Use it all over me

This poem features an odd combination of imagery, both subtle and vivid. It also ends on a subtly humorous note, which is inclined to leave the reader with a positive opinion of the poem. It is like finishing an MSG-laden meal of inauthentic Chinese food with a fortune cookie, which leaves you feeling happy and makes you come back for another miserable, salt-saturated dinner. In addition, this poem features not just anaphora, but also alliteration, the repetition of a similar sound at the beginning of closely spaced words. For example, see “sweetest, softest, muffin mixes.”

Auguries of Innocence
By William Blake*

To see on a spatula some cookie dough
And some chocolate chips
Hold the spatula on your hand
And take a long, slow lick

This poem, unlike the first, does not feature the literary fireworks of anaphora, alliteration, or even rhyme. However, it does seem to be more rhythmic than random words. Notice that the entire poem is one sentence fragment, and that each of the lines is one clause. In addition, notice that for the sake of style, Blake did not follow grammatical rules. This is a trend in his work; take as an example Blake’s unconventional spelling of the word “tiger” in his poem “The Tyger.”

Shake it Off (My Spatula)
By Taylor Swift*

I cook way too much grain, got nothin’ in my brain
That’s what people say, mmm hmm, that’s what people say, mmm hmm
I make too many cakes, but I keep making mistakes
At least that’s what people say mmm mmm, that’s what people say mmm mmm
But I keep mixing, can’t stop, won’t stop flipping
It’s like I got this music in my mind, sayin’ it’s gonna be alright
‘Cause the dough is gonna stick, stick, stick, stick, stick
And the bacon’s gonna burn, burn, burn, burn, burn
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off
Fish filet’s gonna fry, fry, fry, fry, fry
And that one side’s gonna scorch, scorch, scorch, scorch, scorch
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off
I’ll never stop mixing, even if I start splashing
And that’s what they don’t see mmm mmm, that’s what they don’t see mmm mmm
I’m happy on my own (happy on my own), I’ll make the recipe up as I go (recipe up as I go)
And that’s what they don’t know mmm mmm, that’s what they don’t know mmm mmm
But I keep flipping, can’t stop, won’t stop mixing
It’s like I got this music in my mind saying it’s gonna be alright
‘Cause the eggs are gonna char, char, char, char, char
And the veggies are gonna be limp, limp, limp, limp, limp
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off
Pancake’s gonna spread, spread, spread, spread, spread
And the dough is gonna leak, leak, leak, leak, leak
All over my nice new kitchen floor, floor, floor, floor, floor
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off
I shake it off, I shake it off
I, I shake it off, I shake it off
I, I shake it off, I shake it off
I, I shake it off, I shake it off
Hey, hey, hey
Just think while you’ve been getting down and out about the mess you’ve made in the kitchen
You could have been getting down to this sick beat
My ex-man brought his new girlfriend
She’s like “your cooking’s so bad”, but I’m just gonna shake it
And to the fella over there with the egg in his hair
Won’t you come on over, baby, we can shake, shake, shake, yeah oh
‘Cause the souffle’s gonna fall, fall, fall, fall, fall
And the cake’s gonna sag, sag, sag, sag, sag (right in the middle)
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off
Salt’s gonna be white, white, white, white, white
And the sugar’s gonna be white, white, white, white, white
And I’m gonna accidentally put one in instead of the other, other, other, other, other
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off
I shake it off, I shake it off
I, I shake it off, I shake it off
I, I shake it off, I shake it off
I, I shake it off, I shake it off
I shake it off, I shake it off
I, I shake it off, I shake it off
I, I shake it off, I shake it off
I, I shake it off, I shake it off

SPATULAS

Did you know that Taylor Swift, in addition to composing paeans to her Teflon-like qualities, also wrote odes to the real Teflon in her kitchen? In this poem, she uses copious anaphora and a universally recognized tune to subtly incorporate ads for spatulas into a song that permeates the charts, our song playlists, Forever 21 stores, and eventually, our entire lives. Swift also makes sure everyone recognizes her flawlessly presented, relatable, down-to-earth side, describing her culinary failures. Here, poetry is used in a versatile way to serve as a cement mixing stick in the puddle of the drying cement that is today’s pop culture. No, that simile was not supposed to make any sense, but just focus on the spatulas.

In conclusion, take the advice of James Oppenheim, Emily Dickinson, William Blake, and Taylor Swift, and buy a Very Good Spatula™.

*All the poems/songs are parodies of the originals by me.
*All artworks were created by me; they were transformed into memes using ImgFlip.

Credits:

James Oppenheim, “Bread and Roses”
https://jwa.org/media/bread-and-roses-poem

Emily Dickinson, “‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers”
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/42889/hope-is-the-thing-with-feathers-314

William Blake, “Auguries of Innocence”
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/43650/auguries-of-innocence

Taylor Swift, “Shake It Off”
https://genius.com/Taylor-swift-shake-it-off-lyrics

10 Comments

  1. Your parodies are absolutely brilliant, Rachel. And the memes.

  2. Great job, sis! Never gets old! A hilarious article.
    But it was ruined by all those darn links.

    • I’m not responsible for the links. Thanks! And I suppose from your comment that you read my article 5 million times, for which I also thank you.

  3. Can someone please teach me how to make a hat out of spatulas? I would love to learn. XD

    • Yeah, you can’t even tell what its made of! xD

    • First, you soak the spatulas in water until they become mushy. Then you mash them up and mold them into a hat shape. Lastly, you can make that faux croc leather look by using another spatula to trace crocodile scales into the hat. You can save the rubber pieces on the spatula to make the colorful hat ribbon, or you can just throw them away.
      (Note: I am joking, please don’t soak a bunch of spatulas in water expecting them to become mushy. You will only be frustrated when they inevitably dissolve.)