Yorkshire Pudding Rules by Ian McMillan
Ruth Kelsey’s choice number 9
Ian McMillan is one of my favourite poets. I love his unique witty and intelligent style, and the way he draws on local culture and experience. Yorkshire Pudding Rules encapsulates much about my own childhood and, I imagine, that of many who grew up in northern England during the 1960s and 70s. Ian could be writing about my own mother performing the weekly ritual of Sunday Dinner; I can see and smell our kitchen in this poem and feel the heat of the oven, so rich is his use of language.
What I particularly love is the way Ian takes a shared experience yet laces it with memories clearly unique to the McMillan household. I suppose that’s the nature of Yorkshire puddings when you come from this part of the world; in theory one recipe, but with a multitude of variations and secrets unique to the family in which they’re created and enjoyed.