Friday, 8 October 2010

World Egg Day

Still Life With Seven Eggs
Listening to Shaun Keaveny on 6Music this morning, I learnt that today is World Egg Day. What an important thing the egg is, what an iconic image
We have seven hens and get a couple of eggs each day (see above!), they're delicious! 
The girls don't look in top condition at the moment as we've had an ongoing problem with redmite. So serious, in fact, that last month we got rid of the cosy little wooden house that harboured the critters in all its nooks and crannies 

and picked up a couple of secondhand eglus from ebay to replace it. I wish we'd had this type of accommodation from the start. 
Hens and eggs get into our poetry consciousness right at the beginning:

Higgledy piggledy my black hen
She lays eggs for gentlemen
Gentlemen come every day
To see what my black hen doth lay
Sometimes nine and sometimes ten
Higgledy piggledy my black hen.

I found another poem by Michael Laskey, this time on the subject of eggs. He is such a good poet.

A Tray of Eggs
It's not the hens that matter,
scratching among the nettle
roots at the orchard's edge,
though much might be made of their red
foppish cockscombs, their speckled
feathers overlapping and the stutter
of their daft, deft pecking.

Nor is it the road pedalled 
by heart to the farm, the known 
fields never the same,
turning from a greenness to grain,
revolving, resolving into rows
of straight seedlings, stubble
burnt or interred under furrows.

Not even the ride shared
with my two-year-old child, astride
the crossbar, breathing the blown
scents he's making his own
unknowingly, being alive
to vibrations of place this admired
Ford tractor amplifies.

But what counts more than these small
pleasures are the eggs we bring home
in boxes and softly transpose
into the bevelled holes
in the cardboard tray, the domes
of these thirty shells
that will break like the days to come.

Michael Laskey
from Being Alive (ed. Neil Astley, Bloodaxe)


  1. Wow, I never knew! Boiled eggs one of my favourites. And poached, actually, particularly with ham. Then again, there's scrambled...
    God, I love eggs!
    The nursery rhyme has always left me thinking there's a sub-text. Not a good one.

  2. yes I know what you mean, those gentlemen, out procuring the modern pc version - yes indeed - the line has morphed into 'she lays eggs for men and women'...OMG as they say...