Tammy’s Top Ten (t3 report) Ways to Celebrate Poetry

A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to a food and wine pairing meal. It was an exquisitely prepared 5 or 6 courses each with a special tasting of wine to accompany. As we head into April, I’d like to acknowledge another type of pairing – that of food and poetry.


Cortney Davis, the poetry editor of “Alimentum: The Literature of Food,” also acknowledges this pairing.

The best foods are layered–we notice the hint of rosemary behind the muscular taste of tomato or the suggestion of oak that appears moments after the swallow of a fine wine. . . . Some foods taste better left-over–the second-day helping of turkey and stuffing at Thanksgiving. Poems must be multi-layered too, and they must last not only through the second serving, but through many readings, offering us . . . another revelation, another way of looking at ourselves. . . .

April is National Poetry Month. Here are ten ways to celebrate it with yourself, your friends and your family:

1. Carry a poem in your pocket.

2. Create a poem from the words in a recipe.

3. Watch Dead Poet’s Society or another film about poets or poetry.

4. Attend a poetry reading in your area. If you’re in my area, try this.

5. Hold a family haiku night where everyone creates a short verse – even if it’s about your cooking.

6. Subscribe to a Poetry Blog – at least for the month of April.

7. Select a book of poems for your book club.

8. Scrawl a poem on a well traveled sidewalk.

9. Cut out words and put them in a paper bag. Pull them out one by one in poetic order.

10. Memorize a poem.

For the month of April, Agrigirl will be celebrating food and poetry. It’s National Poetry month. Read poetry!

Leave a comment


  1. Lisa H

     /  April 1, 2013

    Great ideas, Tammy! Although I enjoy poetry, I have not encouraged active reading, so your posts are always a good reminder to encourage poetry reading in our house.

  2. Wonderful ideas…it is time for me to read a bit of Walt Whitman (Miracles) to my English Language Learner students!

  3. Thank you! My friend Bill gave me a poetry book for my birthday – time to crack it open!

  4. You’re in good company . . .

    In case you missed this:

    I love the idea you have of pairing food and poetry. Enjoy!

  5. “Scrawl a poem on a well-traveled sidewalk”
    I love that idea!

  6. I love the comparison between food and poetry – fantastic! Plus, I’ll use any excuse to watch Dead Poet’s Society. Such a great movie!

  7. HI Tammy,
    Thank you for your dedication to Poetry Month–and for including mention of Alimentum Journal in your post, which is similarly dedicated to the delectable entwining of words and food. (they have been kind to publish a few of my poems.) I look forward to reading the poems you choose throughout April.

  8. Oh Tammy, this is so good. May I excerpt your post today? Celebrating National Poetry month with you! XoS

    With love, sent from my iPhone

  9. Nicole

     /  April 1, 2013

    I like your idea of writing a poem using words from a recipe. I’ll have to try that!

  10. I love this! Great ideas for better appreciating poetry…Thank you!

  11. This is a lovely idea. I think I will start by hiring Dead Poet’s Society – such an incredible film that stays with you for a very long time xx

    • And I also haven’t seen it for a while. Should follow my own advice and watch it again!

  12. Ooh, memorizing a poem. Great idea!

  13. LOVE #8! It would make my day if I came across a poem someone else had written on a sidewalk.

  14. Dead Poets Society is one of my favourite movies and reminds me of my grandmother ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. I love these ideas! What a great way to celebrate poetry month! ๐Ÿ˜€

  16. One of my favorite poems is Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle, and I happen to have a jar of watermelon pickles, so perhaps I will crack it open in honor of poetry month.

    Thanks, Tammy!

    • I love the book Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle . . . and it’s still for sale after all these years. An excerpt, โ€œHow to Eat a Poemโ€œ by Eve Merriam, may be tantalizing enough to cause poetry lovers to search out the volume for their own library:

      Donโ€™t be polite
      Bite in.
      Pick it up with your fingers and lick the juice that may run down your chin.
      It is ready and ripe now, whenever you are.

    • I hadn’t seen the poem before so thanks for bringing it to my attention. I love that the gift is from someone named Felicity and that it brings home the childhood summer.

  17. Some description of foods or wine really are poetry! I like poetry slams, and here in Cologne there are a lot of cultural events and people who’re interested, so I’m optimistic to attend some things soon. A friend of mine just told me about a poetry reading he attended which was held by down syndrom people, and he was very impressed and touched by the depth and tenderness of their poems and reading.

    • That’s interesting Kath. This week I went to a Dance ensemble performance and there were quite a few Down individuals in the crowd. The dancers danced to poetry and the crowd loved it.

  18. Fun post. I think food haiku could go over very well at our house!

  19. The Internet has truly surfaced a new and diverse poetic movement. Your list serves as a gregarious jump into the art and hopefully will lead your followers to explore the expansive beauty that is language.

  20. These arecall great & good tips! I will do that now! ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope you celebrated a lovely Easter with your lovely family! xxx

  21. Poetry: it’s always there in the background, and the poetry of food is such an absorbing sub genre. Some lovely ones at the Poetry Archive: http://www.poetryarchive.org/poetryarchive/search.do?method=theme&searchTerm=food

  22. What a terrific post! I love the combination of food pairing and poetry.. it caught me off surprise and really grabbed my attention! Great List!

  23. What a fun post, I love combining poetry with food ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Great list, I love poetry combined in many of the ways you describe, Writing group haiku is loads of fun and has a long history to it.

  1. With Sugar On Top | Spirit Lights The Way

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: