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Hello, and welcome to dVerse, serving hot and cold poetry, drinks and – tonight – a full menu!

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We’ve emerged from the solstice festive period, and I feel like I’ve spent a lot of time over the last few weeks thinking about food – what to cook, what to serve, what to choose, what to avoid! And the emotions that come with it – my mum’s trifle, my mother-in-law’s pudding recipe, my husband’s bread, After Eight mints – these things are part of my history AND part of my present. They are the things I think about when I think about winter celebrations, along with all sorts of other important dishes.

Eating and drinking together are such an important part of celebrating, of being friends, family, community. Over the last two years I have really missed juggling a mince pie and a glass of mulled wine; I’ve missed our pre-Christmas pub lunch with friends; I’ve missed the village hall bring and share – that mad mixture of home-made pasties, shop-bought fancy cakes, crisps and egg sandwiches. Food brings us together like nothing else quite does. It also evokes memories like nothing else. Nobody will ever make pastry quite like my granny. My husband uses his mother’s pudding recipe at Christmas, and for a moment she’s sitting there with us, criticizing her own cooking (completely unnecessarily).

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Here’s a poem by Seamus Heaney. Look how he conjures up the simplicity and significance of an every day task:

Mossbawn: Two Poems in Dedication

For Mary Heaney

I Sunlight

There was a sunlit absence.
The helmeted pump in the yard
heated its iron,
water honeyed

in the slung bucket
and the sun stood
like a griddle cooling
against the wall

of each long afternoon.
So, her hands scuffled
over the  bakeboard,
the reddening stove

sent its plaque of heat
against her where she stood
in a floury apron
by the window.

Now she dusts the board
with a goose’s wing,
now sits, broad-lapped,
with whitened nails

and measling shins:
here is a space
again, the scone rising
to the tick of two clocks.

And here is love
like a tinsmith’s scoop,
sunk past its gleam
in the meal-bin.

And here’s a prose poem by Amy Lovell:

Breakfast Table

In the fresh-washed sunlight, the breakfast table is decked and white. It offers itself in flat surrender, tendering tastes, and smells, and colours, and metals, and grains, and the white cloth falls over its side, draped and wide. Wheels of white glitter in the silver coffee-pot, hot and spinning like catherine-wheels, they whirl, and twirl and my eyes begin to smart, the little white, dazzling wheels prick them like darts. Placid and peaceful, the rolls of bread spread themselves in the sun to bask. A stack of butter-pats, pyramidal, shout orange through the white, scream, flutter, call: “Yellow! Yellow! Yellow!” Coffee steam rises in a stream, clouds the silver tea-service with mist, and twists up into the sunlight, revolved, involuted, suspiring higher and higher, fluting in a thin spiral up the high blue sky. A crow flies by and croaks at the coffee steam. The day is new and fair with good smells in the air.

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If you want more inspiration, there are links here to two poems that I’ve featured on my blog over the last couple of years



So, your mission for tonight is to write a poem about food – about preparing food, or eating food; about family meals, or posh restaurants; about the emotional heft of a particular dish, the meaning that it brings to your table; about something you love or something you loathe. Maybe your dad always made eggs a certain way, maybe there’s a sauce that reminds you of a lost love, maybe the smell of something takes you back to childhood. Unpack it a little, and share it with us. Maybe we can create a recipe book of memories and associations?

When you’ve written your poem, please link it back to this post AND link it up to Mr Linky. And don’t forget to browse the buffet of poems from your fellow poets.