Food Exercise

This is an exercise I used when I taught classes many moons ago. Thought I would try it again. I'll post the result in a few days.

Create a 12-line poem describing a food without naming it. You can use the name in the title. Try to use all five senses (taste, touch, smell, sight, sound). Here's an example:

The Traveling Onion
When I think how far the onion has traveled
just to enter my stew today, I could kneel and praise
all small forgotten miracles,
crackly paper peeling on the drainboard,
pearly layers in smooth agreement,
the way knife enters onion
and onion falls apart on the chopping block,
a history revealed.

And I would never scold the onion
for causing tears.
It is right that tears fall
for something small and forgotten.
How at meal, we sit to eat,
commenting on texture of meat or herbal aroma
but never on the translucence of onion,
now limp, now divided,
or its traditionally honorable career:
For the sake of others,

--Naomi Shihab Nye

(Yes, I know this example doesn't follow the proper format, but the point is to try. Don't worry so much about the details. My poem, "Teacup," posted a few days ago, is such an attempt.)


Anonymous said…
Now I'm hungry, and feeling like I need to praise my root vegetables.


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