Summer Grazing: Poems About Food

Jul 9, 2015

Want a different kind of nibble on these long summer days when it’s too hot to cook? Graze your way through a bountiful buffet of food poems. Here’s a sampler of some favorites (with links to the full works on

Start the day with Elizabeth Bishop and “A Miracle for Breakfast”:

At six o'clock we were waiting for coffee, waiting for coffee and the charitable crumb that was going to be served from a certain balcony – like kings of old, or like a miracle....

Go “Strawberrying” with May Swenson:

My hands are murder-red. Many a plump head drops on the heap in the basket. Or, ripe
 to bursting, they might be hearts, matching
the blackbird’s wing-fleck….

Stop for lunch at “The Health-Food Diner” with Maya Angelou:

No sprouted wheat and soya shoots

And Brussels in a cake,

Carrot straw and spinach raw,

(Today, I need a steak)….

Shop for dinner with Lewis Carroll and “The Walrus and the Baker’s Man”:

A loaf of bread, the Walrus said,

Is what we chiefly need:

Pepper and vinegar besides

Are very good indeed –  

Now if you're ready, Oysters, dear,

We can begin to feed!

“Inviting a Friend to Supper” is on the menu with Ben Jonson:


Tonight, grave sir, both my poor house and I

Do equally desire your company: 

Not that we think us worthy such a guest,

But that your worth will dignify our feast 

With those that come; whose grace may make that seem

Something, which else could hope for no esteem. 

Feast on “Mutton” with Jonathan Swift:

Gently stir and blow the fire,

Lay the mutton down to roast,

Dress it quickly, I desire,

In the dripping put a toast,

That I hunger may remove –

Mutton is the meat I love….


When the meal is done, ask Jack Prelutsky to help put away the leftovers, “Deep in Our Refrigerator”:


Deep in our refrigerator,

there's a special place

for food that's been around awhile...

we keep it, just in case.

“Chocolate Milk” by Ron Padgett, “Cherries” by Wilfrid Wilson Gibson, “Raisin Pie” by Edgar Albert Guest – these and other tasteful works are a wonderful way to satisfy our appetites. Best of all, we’ll always have room for one more bite.

For more poems about food, visit