A Poem about Food

Thinking about what I said last week about writing about food, I came across an example from a long way back that is also a good example of concrete poetry, a poem that is written in the shape of its subject. I do not use this style often (and in the digital age, issues of formatting for audiences on a variety of platforms can be tricky), but I think this is a great example of form following function, since I am trying to say something not only about a piece of fruit but also about women and body image. This was published in Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies. The title comes from a line of a poem by Robert Pack (with whom I studied at Middlebury College), “Guardians” from his book Keeping Watch: “What can the half-grown pears say? ”

 What the Pear Says

 …

Now you see

me: chartreuse skin,

ample convexities of

hip, abdomen, buttocks

curving, tapering, as I sit

regarding your twitching

fingers, watering mouth, and

indecisive eyes. Am I heavy?

Not at all. A mere handful. I have hips,

yes, but then so do love’s roses. Oh, I know.

This is not a shape you’ve been taught to desire.

No matter. Slide your hand around me,

pull me close. To taste me

is to love me.

 …

Spilecki, Susan. “What the Pear Says.” Frontiers (1997) 18:1.

One comment on “A Poem about Food

  1. Oh, I love this. I’ve never heard of a concrete poem before, but I am now a fan.

    Like

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