Hello everyone! Kanzen here, I am so glad to be here with one of my favorite subjects – Food: a universal in its simplest permutation. We all eat, have favorite foods, memorable meals – a last meal, a first meal, comfort food, shameful food – the politics of food – starvation, being a vegan, eating for health. Growing up in a family where around the dinner table was always an angry event or in a family where dinner was a fun and loving event. Relationships have started over a meal and they have ended. Whether eaten with a fork, chopsticks, or fingers; or healthy, junky, noodles, seafood, sandwiches, prepared on the barbecue grill or on a stove, a formal occasion or casual picnic – food is something we have in common.
There are many poems about food or meals. It is often said that poems about food are not about food. Well, sometimes they are, sometimes they are not. Sometimes they really are about the coolness of a melon or eating oysters; other times they are about guilt, anger, loneliness, sex.
So this poetics today is about food: describing a favorite food (I have written several about homegrown summer tomatoes, for example), remembering the last time you ate with someone you loved, right before they died, the first time you shared a meal with your new love, the meals at the end where the relationship was coming apart, feeding your baby pureed pears, buying that can of whipped cream and you and your lover decorating each other and licking off the decorations (and maybe how you vowed you’d never do that again!).
Let’s hear your food stories, thoughts on food. I am an escaped chef and I love love love food and stories behind it. I have included a couple of examples of poems for you – one is obviously not about food and the other one is.
The poetic form is open. Today: (1) write a poem about food and to encourage you to sharpen, nay, whet the knife of your imagery, (2) do not post any images with the poems. Give us your poems as if they were a handwritten menu in a diner, or on a chalkboard, or on the parchment of a fine restaurant. Let your words be our food. Let us gnaw, nibble, spoon out, slurp your poem as you put it on your poetic plate in front of us and let the poem be seen in our own imagination.
Beloved you are
Caviar of Caviar
Of all I love you best
O my Japanese bird nest
No herring from Norway
Can touch you for flavor. Nay
is flat as an empty shelf
When compared to your piquancy
O quince of my despondency
Coolness of the melons by Matsuo Basho
Coolness of the melons
flecked with mud
in the morning dew.
After you have written your poem:
- Post your poem to your blog
- Add a link to your poem via the ‘Mr Linky’ below
- Read and comment on other people’s work to let them know it’s being read
- Share via your favorite social media platforms
- Above all- have fun!