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Not strictly poetry, but my favorite offal passage is from Joyce's Ulysses: "Mr Leopold Bloom ate with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls. He liked thick giblet soup, nutty gizzards, a stuffed roast heart, liverslices fried with crustcrumbs, fried hencods' roes. Most of all he liked grilled mutton kidneys which gave to his palate a fine tang of faintly scented urine."

That and the famous "and yes I said yes I will Yes" are the two Ulysses bits that most stuck with me from my determined reading between the ages of 18 and 22 of all the books I felt I should read. Ulysses was difficult going -- and I really should return to it -- but not as tough a slog as Lord of the Rings which I had to grimly force myself through -- all that portentous talk of Korrigan son of Oregon, etc.

Of course, there's the different sense in which Shakespeare uses offal in Julius Caesar "What trash is Rome, / What rubbish and what offal, when it serves / For the base matter to illuminate / So vile a thing as Caesar!"

(Shakespeare was a literary boundary too far for me between 18 and 22, but years later after my daughter took an inspiring Shakespeare class in high school then entered a rough emotional patch at 18/19, she and I took solace in reading aloud to each other every Shakespeare play. It took us 18 months. We still have two complete sets of the work -- her Oxford School edition, with the clear print and the occasional drawing, and my densely annotated Arden.)

To return to offal, I'm willing to bet that there's every organ meat in that pie in Titus Andronicus.

If you'll  permit visual poetry on this thread, the quail at Foxface Natural has its liver and its supernally large testicles laid out in a lovely, silent row that can only be described as poetry in stillness.

Edited by relbbaddoof
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