, , , , ,

resized bubbles original (2)

Happy October to All and Welcome to Poetics! Lisa here as your pub host, offerer-server of liquid refreshment and/or tasty snacks from the magic cupboard, AND provider of today’s poetry prompt.

Before getting into the prompt material, a reminder to please mark your calendars now for this Thursday, October 13, at 3pm EST, as that night dVerse will be LIVE! Lillian will be our OLN Live host. At this fun time of camaraderie, you can see other pubsters and hear them read their poems, and they can hear you read yours. Please come and cozy up to the bar live this Thursday.


The American Heritage Dictionary has 9 different definitions for fermentation. Leaving a few out:
1.  Any of a group of chemical reactions induced by microorganisms or enzymes that split complex organic compounds into relatively simple substances, especially the anaerobic conversion of sugar to carbon dioxide and alcohol by yeast.
Unrest; agitation
Figuratively, the state of being in high activity or commotion; agitation; excitement, as of the intellect or feelings, a society, etc.
The process of undergoing an effervescent change, as by the action of yeast
A state of agitation or excitement, as of the intellect or the feelings.

Discovering Cretan Cuisine | The Greek Food
green olives

Let’s start with the first definition. Quiz time! Set your timer for 30 seconds and see how many fermented foods you can list. Don’t look at the list below before you take the quiz. Ready, set, go!

Alright, how many could you name? Below is a small list of foods that are fermented:
fish sauce
soy sauce
hot sauce

And you thought food fermentation was only about beer and bread!

Sandor Katz, whom I consider the father of home fermentation revivalism, is a man I came to know (figuratively) when I took a leisure course on home-brewing of kombucha and afterwards bought his book, “Wild Fermentation.” The book has since become one of my most dog-eared volumes for not only its recipes but for its innate wisdom. Sandor sees food fermentation as activism in opposition to the gulf that has formed for so many of us between the food we eat and its production. Sandor has a “new” book out (2020) titled, “Fermentation as Metaphor.” Listen to this excellent podcast where he talks about it here.

Sandor, without question, has stepped into the realm of the other definitions with his actions and willingly shares how he perceives his expansion. Poets also have taken a look at them. sam sax sees the process as destructive in his world. Click on the poems’ titles to take you to each whole poem.

rum cask

On Alcohol
By sam sax
…if you look close at the process of fermentation
you’ll see tiny animals destroying the living body
until it’s transformed into something more volatile…

Taking a mini quantum leap into the other definitions is Gloria Gervitz’ poem, who sees it as part of a life path:

…the endless delights
the voluptuousness of being born again and again
static ecstasy
more even more
don’t be afraid
and the photographs fading in the fermentation of silence
the unscreened porches
fever growing red in other skies…
From Migrations: “in the migrations of red carnations
By Gloria Gervitz

Let’s get back into the Tardis, with Aase Berg this time, and do yet another leap using the idea:
…Where does this mass end? I search inward through strata to find the core of my plasma wet from juices, to find the core of body-flesh despite the outer, surrounding flesh, the naked body’s stable surface, a kind of human here inside the bluing, plant-becoming. Something to hold on to behind the spread of the sickness of mud, fermentation. But there is nothing to grasp beneath this mantle of slippery webbed skin, burst through by a pounding net of veins…
From Life Form
By Aase Berg
Translated by Johannes Göransson

Am I the only one who sees an aspect of alchemy in fermentation?

Now that I have hopefully acquainted you with definitions and examples of fermentation and connected them to poetry by subject and application, your challenge, if you choose to accept it, is: Write a poem that uses any of the definitions, examples, images, or applications of fermentation that inspires Your Muse.  Is a favorite food fermented? Have you let an idea ferment? Do you see fermenting food as a political act? Have you had experience fermenting food and want to share the experience?

There are no form, rhyme, or subject constraints in this prompt challenge. All I ask is that you have fun with it!

If you are new, here’s how to join in:
Post your poem on your blog and link back to this post.
Place the link to your actual post (not your blog or web site) in the Mister Linky site.
Don’t forget to check the little box to accept use/privacy policy
Please read and comment on other poets’ work–we all come here to have our poems read.