This is dedicated to Silly.

I overheard my students talking about something which caught my ear (like the the eye of the wedding guest is caught by the Ancient Mariner).  They were saying the word “chips” over and over again in a sort of soft voice.  “Chips, chips, chips…”  As I heard this auspicious sound, almost as if an incantation, I went about inquiring as to why they were saying “chips.”  One spritely seventh grader said that they were talking about Susie Creamcheese’s poem.  She explained how Susie Creamcheese had written a poem called “Chips.”  I ran and begged Susie Creamcheese to donate to me a copy of her poem–you see I was so enthralled by the sound of “chips, chips, chips,” and the very next day she procured it for me.

When I got the poem, written out in hand on a piece of notebook paper, I read it so fast that I nearly missed it.  And so I re-read it, this time getting more out of it. On the third read I began to pick up on various schemes, the use of ghost meter, and even the esoteric stresses and enjambments.  The poem revealed to me its philosophical and existential bent: it lead me through the universal and particular nature of “chips.”  I must share it with you!

Chips: by Susie Creamcheese


Cruchy and Salty

you can dip them in any dip

chips, chips, chips

O, they are really good

there are many types:

Doritos, Lays, tortilla, corn

chips – Yum!

Notice the use of enjambment in line 7.  It serves to link ‘corn’ (this particular ‘type’) to its larger context of ‘chips.’  In the last line of the poem the simple monosyllabic word “Yum” captures the essence of chips.  The beginning of the poem begins with the invocation of the muse of “Chips.”  We are then brought from universal ‘chips’ to the particular “Doritos, Lays, tortilla, corn.”  The body of the poem seeks to bring the reader to a greater understanding and joy in chips.  It expresses their versatility (they can be dipped in any dip).  The line that uses repetition of “chips, chips, chips” is onomatopoetically mirroring the sound of crunching chips.  Finally the next line offers an existential affirmation of the goodness of chips.

This is truly a remarkable poem written by Susie Creamcheese, a 7th grader.  I hope that you can find some of the nuances and intricacies of the poem (there are many).  If you see anything please share it!

Peace and Love, Truth and Euclid,

-Peter Hilaire

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