Poetically Yours - A savory dish
Welcome to WNIJ's Poetically Yours. Poetically Yours showcases poems written by northern Illinois poets. This week features Quentin Johnson.
Johnson was born in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea to missionary parents. He grew up in the Midwest, living in Minnesota, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and Michigan. He has lived most of his life in Illinois, having resided in Metropolis, Ashkum, Oak Park and Aurora.
Johnson graduated from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa with degrees in Scandinavian studies and African and African American studies. He also lived and studied in Norway, receiving a certificate in sociology, while also studying Norwegian history and literature, psychology and international intelligence agencies.
Johnson says he is a word nerd and loves language. He has studied French, Spanish, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish and Ancient Greek. His choral career included additional work in Latin, Italian and German. When working with non-native English speakers, Johnson breaks the ice by asking people to teach him words in their mother tongues, like Persian, Russian, Polish, Gujarati, Korean and Mandarin.
Johnson works as an Animal Control Officer for the City of Aurora. He’s held this position for over 25 years. He is also a Deputy Poet Laureate for the City of Aurora. Johnson seeks to celebrate the cultural uniqueness of all people and their contributions to the great American melting pot. In his free time, he enjoys being with his wife and kids. You may also find him knitting on occasion. Today’s poem pay homage to a fast food delicacy –- an Italian beef. Here’s his poem “Ode to Papa G’s: In Praise of Cheezy Beef.”
Thinly sliced beef,
Seasoned and tasty.
Fresh Italian bread,
From the very best bakery.
With Mozzarella mounds,
The flavor abounds!
Peppers and giardiniera,
Top the sandwich of the era!
To George and Sofia, we now raise a toast!
To the City of Lights, of your cheezy beef we boast!
By Quentin Johnson