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Food Poem Fridays: (More) Haikus for You

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Every Friday, we’re mixing things up with a different kind of food writing. More specifically, food poetry to be read slowly, over your morning coffee. This week: we’re stuck on haikus. 

We’re going through a bit of a haiku phase around here. (Have you written one yet?) In the spirit of food thoughts condensed into seventeen syllables, our food poems this week are haikus. Digest these, and then write one for yourself. (Then share it with us!) 

If gum were chocolate 

Like cows with their cud
we would chew constantly, and
then we’d all swallow.

If chocolate were gum

One piece would last for
hours and have few calories.
(I’m working on it.)

Salt Lick Barbeque 

Vegans, stay away,
lest your firm resolve melt from
tender smoked brisket.

Read More at a haiku a day

Tags: what we're reading, a haiku a day, food poem fridays, haiku

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about 3 years ago Eliz.

A former textile designer from an industrial town in northern England, Tony Connor held an undergraduate poetry seminar at his house one night a week. "This class," he announced in the course catalog, "is not for those who consider poetry a form of self-expression." Yup. Nothing like the strict discipline of iambic pentameter to force American youth to look beyond themselves and within the limitations imposed by traditional form, find something new to write.

What might sound regimented and stern turned out to be a lot of fun and in that spirit, I just want to mention a few more things about traditional Japanese haiku.

Given the culture's reverence for nature, haiku often include words that evoke seasons, something easy to keep in mind when writing about food. Since so many Japanese characters derive from pictures—strokes representing three peaks become the word for "mountain"—it makes sense that poets strive to use the concise, poetic arrangement of language in haiku to create an image.

One method: the juxtaposition of two distinct subjects that the reader must compare and contrast in seeking a relationship between the two. Subtlety matters. For example, you don't want to tell the reader:

Glistening foie gras
Looks kind of like the contents
Of Charlie's diaper.


A breeze fills the room
With autumnal scents: osso
Buco. Baby poop.