Thursday, May 1, 2008

Food Inspired Poetry

The Miss Rumphius Effect Monday Poetry Stretch this week was to write a food inspired poem.
I had planned to write a brand new poem, but it's interim time at school. My students have been keeping me very busy grading late assignments. (All of you teachers out there know what I'm talking about.) So I'm posting a poem inspired by my sons that I wrote a while back. I welcome your comments and suggestions for improvement.

The first poem is from Yummy, Eating Through a Day, edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins.

Table Manners

No burping
No slurping
No giggling
No wiggling
No hitting
No spitting
No jabbing
No grabbing
No groaning
No moaning
No kicking
No picking
or sticking
your food
on the floor.

Table manners
making eating a bore!

copyright 2000 Linda Kulp

Ants on a Log

My son spreads peanut butter thick
on crisp green celery sticks and grins—
slides the spoon to his mouth and licks

it clean— then carefully begins
sticking raisins in a neat row
into the creamy bark and chins

the counter top on tippytoe
looking for the perfect platter
to canvas his creation— his eyes glow

and tiny giggles scatter
as he samples one log, two—
knowing his efforts will matter,

then turns to me with pride brand new
and says, “Mommy, I saved the best— for you!”

copyright 2001 Linda Kulp

For more food poems written by some of today's most popular poets (including: J. Patrick Lewis, Bobbi Katz, Pat Mora, and Lee Bennett Hopkins) check out: food fight edited by Michael J. Rosen. Here are a few lines from my favorite poem, "Pineapple Upside Down Cake" by Nikki Grimes.

Grandma wasn't much for hugging.
She was entirely too frail
to give me piggyback rides
and moved too slow for hide-and seek.

The poem continues by describing the "honey-glazed pineapple rings, tooth-tingling tangy sweetness." After reading the poem to my students, I surprise them with a sample of my own homemade pineapple upside down cake. The combination of poem and cake is a delicious way to model using sensory language!


  1. Linda,

    I'm just getting around to reading some of the Poetry Friday posts. The spring semester ended last week--and I've been busy calculating my students' final grades.

    I like both your poems. I think young children would really enjoy the first one--it's a fine list poem.

  2. Elaine,

    Thank you. Your words mean a lot.