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 poemhunter.com).
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 poemhunter.com.