Monday, October 8, 2012

Poetry Prompt #8 - A Tasty, Yummilicious Writing Experience

Did you have a poetry filled weekend? No, this isn’t a trick question, it is to let you know you are not alone if you didn’t.

I didn’t. I had so many activities on my plate that I managed to write a couple haiku. I barely had time to read or comment anything.

I could feel guilty about that and call myself “done!” with the OctPoWriMo adventure, but I know better than to do something my mother would say would be like “cutting off your nose to spite your face.”

With that in mind, step one in today’s Monday poetic adventure is this: Let go of any resistant and self judgment. Take a moment now to get on your feet and stretch or stretch from your seated position. Work on relaxing your chest, shoulders and face. Breathe deeply…. And end with a “THANK YOU”… and…

Here we go.

Let’s dive into using more specific – and possibly playful -  images into your poems by using our senses. Today’s prompt will focus on the sense of taste.

Our taste buds collect vivid imagery when we savor our food. There is a reason there is a dessert called “Better than Sex” although I highly doubt anything tastes better than really excellent sex.  (Did I actually write that?)

I have also found that throwing word-spaghetti on my page makes me hungry for more words, it builds anticipation when I let go of “being in control” and just start throwing out more spaghetti – more word combinations, tighten what I have written and trust my creative process, not unlike what my friend Igor Stravinsky says, “Just as appetite comes by eating, so work brings inspiration, if inspiration is not discernible at the beginning.”

If I feel resistance to creating a “poetry banquet” or even some “poetry a la carte” I know if I start creating analogies and metaphors, ideas will start flowing.

I found this in one of my notebooks which I wrote after eating  pancakes for breakfast:

The taste of pancakes always says to me, “everything is going to be all right, you are safe. Pancakes can be trusted, like the old lady next door who knows all the comings and goings yet simultaneously minds her own business.”

One step further - My children love Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup on their pile of pancakes because she is a character from my childhood table. They want to look into the mirrors inside the mirrors inside the mirrors of their DNA, stacked and stretched across the centuries from one table to the next to the next.

Poetry Writing Prompt:  First, Go to your kitchen and look for something you can eat simply a bite of right now. A piece of celery, a spoonful of applesauce, a fork of leftover spaghetti.. whatever is convenient, available or simple.

Next, eat “one bite” slowly, with your eyes close. Savor and experience it more fully than you have in the past. Taste it as if you are greeting a dear friend after a long time apart or taste it like it is the very first time.

When you finish with your “one bite” write whatever  analogies  or thoughts come straight from your eating experience onto the page, creating a list of sorts, such as:

  • Egg salad reminds me of Mrs. Nussbaum when I was in kindergarten.

  • I remember when I was pregnant with Samuel & all I wanted was egg salad.

  • Egg salad’s texture says “soft, lumpy and more than slightly perfect, like Grandma”….

  • Egg salad tastes like (something that one doesn’t eat).

  • Egg salad tastes like being tucked into bed at the end of a long, tiring day.

Allow the ideas to flow for a bit. Sentence starter prompt (Insert Name of Item you tasted) is..... (or) (Insert the name of item you tasted) makes me feel.... 

Word Prompt(s) Item .... Taste

To create your poem, let yourself take what you started about egg salad and begin to weave those thoughts/words/ideas into a poem.

Enjoy your word banquet. I'm hungry for your poems even now!

A couple links for your descriptive poetry writing pleasure:


  1. Not to self promote or anything...haha...but my Day 7 poem might help you with that. I had that kind of week last week. oh, who am I kidding? I have it every week :) Food? I am SO up for this one. I've often toyed with the idea of writing a whole album of songs about food. This should be fun!

    1. PS...Egg salad...was just telling my 6 year old yesterday that an egg salad sandwich was the first thing I ate after delivering him to the world and he said "That was my inflight meal?" HA!

  2. This sounds like such a fun exercise. I'll have to try it sometime. Just not today. It's Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada, so I'm feeling sleepy and lazy today.