Ellen Dillon: Two Poems from butter/business/living

Author’s note: These poems come from a sequence of documentary poems I’m currently working on (provisionally) called butter/business/living. This project uses a range of literary and scholarly sources about dairy, particularly butter, to explore the social history of Ireland over the last thousand years.

The first poem attached ‘A Vision of Whitemeats,’ collages text from a translation of an 11th Century satirical poem, ‘McConglinne’s Vision.’ It adapts the dán díreach form of the source text, quatrains of seven-syllable lines interspersed with prose commentary. The second poem, ‘Milk Testing (for butterfat)’ is the final poem of the sequence and is a collage of alphabetised samples from the preceding poems.

A Vision of Whitemeats 2

milk testing


Ellen Dillon is a writer and teacher from Limerick, Ireland. Her pamphlet Excavate (Poems after Pasolini) has been published by Oystercatcher Press, Achatina, achatina! is forthcoming from SoundEye Press and Sonnets to Malkmus is available from Sad Press. Some of her poems have appeared in AmberfloraBansheeDatableedErotoplastyMOTEStandStinging FlyZarf and elsewhere.


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