Day 19: Poetry and food

I’ve stopped writing about food–and I don’t know why. I still like to eat. Sometimes I enjoy cooking.

But I was intrigued by Karla K. Morton’s “The Foodie Response: Pushing through Writer’s Block” in Wingbeats II, and I wondered whether we could use it for revisions.

Take a look at one of your favorite food poems. For example, I love “Osso Bucco,” by Billy Collins. Some other options are “French Toast,” by Anya Krugovoy Silver, “Blackberry-Picking,” by Seamus Heaney, “This is Just to Say,” by William Carlos Williams, and “Lychees“, by Meena Alexander.

Spend some time with that poem:

What do you love about it?
What does it make you think or feel?
Can you taste the food that is in the poem?
Where does the poem go?
What memories does it evoke?

Now, here’s where this assignment might get tricky.

That poem you’ve been working on? What food fits with it?

Write about that food, delving into its tastes and textures and all of its associations, the memories and feelings that come up. Where does the writing go?

Now, look at the poem and the food writing. Do they fit together? Do they talk to each other? Are there images or sections that will fit? Or does the process of refitting lead you to a new direction?