14 Jul

Writing Through the Senses: Taste (Part 1)

Posted in Writing Exercises, Writing Through The Senses

Hello everyone!  Today’s topic is taste and we’ll be adding some playfulness to our writing.  Because this is such a fun topic, I’ve decided to split it into two parts.  I’ll post Part 1 now and Part 2 on Friday (because I have something else planned for tomorrow).

Taste Part 1: Food as Metaphor

First we’ll start with a feast of words:
How to Eat a Poem by Eve Merriam
Eating Poetry by Mark Strand.

I love reading these poems back-to-back because while they are dramatically different, they both use eating as a metaphor for reading poetry.  The Merriam poem is very visual and almost literal in its description of eating poetry, while the Strand poem is a bit more abstract, but fascinating nonetheless.  In the latter, we see the contrast between the visceral relationship the speaker has with the poems and the librarian’s reaction as she tries to maintain order.  I read this poem almost as a manifesto for enjoyment of poetry and not letting conventions and rules get in the way.

What do you think about these poems?  Did one of them speak to you more than the other?

Writing Exercise: Write a short piece (prose or poetry, either is fine) using one of the following titles:

  1. How to Eat a _______________
  2. Eating ____________________
  3. Recipe for _________________

You can fill in the blank with anything you wish, though I encourage you to try using something that is not normally edible.  Have fun with this!


Comments on this post

  1. Sonia says:

    I absolutely love that first poem. I thought it would be interesting to use the seasons– specifically, "how to eat a summer day."

    1. gabi says:

      I hadn't thought of the seasons but that's a great idea. I bet the seasons would each taste different too.

      For me, spring would be crisp and fresh like celery. Fall definitely makes me think of cinnamon and crunchy apples, like apple pie where the apples aren't overcooked so they still have that slight crunch to them. Winter definitely says peppermint to me, mostly because I find snow tastes rather minty. Summer would be a tough one because so many foods say summer to me. Maybe something juicy like watermelon or peaches…? Summer is definitely a season that would drip down my chin.

      Thanks for getting me thinking on this! 🙂

      1. Sonia says:

        It's a fun one! The phrase "drink up the sunshine" is what got me thinking about it : )
        I think all your season descriptions are exactly on point…I'm officially craving apple (or pumpkin!) pie now!

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