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Tuck in your napkins, people. Today’s post is all about food. Food in verse, that is.
Sometimes poetry is more than just poetry.
The Hungry Ear is a collection of poems that celebrates the pleasures and sorrows of food. Kevin Young cooked up, er, edited this book. He says that, much like the best meals, the best poems are made from scratch.
I like the sound of that. It’s the way we do things in my kitchen. Fatto a mano.
My Grandmother made braciole. I bet poet Joseph Bathanti’s did, too.
Braciole is a Sicilian dish and, yes, it starts with a hammer. Unless you have a butcher in the village like Lina’s.
Braciole by Joseph Bathanti
With the cast iron claw
hammer – burnished
silver in endless
bouts of fire, forged
by my blacksmith
at Ellis Island
on the Luisiana,
out of the province
of Foggia, 1907,
where his name
was altered, like so many,
the hammer secreted
in his tunic –
my mother pounds
on butcher block
flank steak to temper,
then lays on each softened tongue
olive oil, garlic, parsley,
salt and pepper, before
trussing them into scrolls
bound with string
from Stagno’s Bakery,
and dropping them
into the incarnadine majesty
of the sauce to roil
the rest of our lives. Amen.
Here’s a Poetic à la carte menu to whet your appetite ~
To Eat of Meat Joyously http://www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk/poetry/poems/eat-meat-joyously
Speed and Perfection http://www.phys.unm.edu/~tw/fas/yits/archive/hirshfield_speedandperfection.html
Food is pop culture. It’s who we are. It sustains us. It connects us. So does poetry.
Finally, an Homage to Guacamole. Make some today. If the timid-but-stormy Clownfish is torqued to the limit, tomorrow we’ll be dunking in the dark.
Do you have a favorite food poem?
Or one you wrote from scratch?