From This is Just to Say by William Carlos Williams
I have eaten
that were in
you were probably
they were delicious
and so cold
From A Confession by Czeslaw Milosz
My lord, I loved strawberry jam.
From A Miracle for Breakfast by Elizabeth Bishop
At six o’clock we were waiting for coffee,
waiting for coffee and the charitable crumb
that was going to be served from a certain balcony
–like kings of old, or like a miracle.
It was still dark. One foot of the sun
steadied itself on a long ripple in the river.’
From My Father’s Geographies by Afaa M. Weaver
At breakfast I talked in French with an old man
about what he loved about America–the Kennedys.
From The Bistro Styx by Rita Dove
She swallowed, sliced into a pear,
speared each tear-shaped lavaliere
and popped the dripping mess into her pretty mouth.
From Reading Biographies by Gary Soto
She took a deep breath
And wiggled the goose of her tasty fanny
Into the kitchen. There, she poured pancakes
Onto a skillet as old as this country,
And Frost, a pioneer for all writers,
Picked up his beaver-thrashed pencil and proclaimed,
O Sweet Youth, etc.
From Artichoke by Pablo Neruda
of delicate heart
in its battle-dress, builds
its minimal cupola;
in its scallop of
bristles their thickness,
devise tendrils and belfries,
the bulb’s agitations;
while under the subsoil
sleeps sound in its
From Blackberrying by Sylvia Plath
Nobody in the lane, and nothing, nothing but blackberries,
Blackberries on either side, though on the right mainly,
A blackberry alley, going down in hooks, and a sea
Somewhere at the end of it, heaving. Blackberries
Big as the ball of my thumb, and dumb as eyes
Ebon in the hedges, fat
With blud-red juices. THese they squander on my fingers.
I had not asked for such a blood sisterhood; they must love me.
They accommodate themselves to my milkbottle, flattening their sides.
From “Cabbage” by Ruth Stone
In the apartment leaning against one wall,
your daughter’s painting of a large frilled cabbage
against a dark sky with pinpoints of stars.
The eager vegetable, opening itself
as if to eat the air, or speak in cabbage
language of the meanings within meanings;
while the points of stars hide their massive
violence in the dark upper half of the painting.
You can live with this.
From Cutting Greens by Lucille Clifton
curling them around
i hold their bodies in obscene embrace
thinking of everything but kinship.
collards and kale
strain against each other
away from my kissmaking hand and
the iron bedpot.
the pot is black.
From Fiddleheads by Maureen Seaton
The first time I saw hundreds of
fiddle head ferns boiling in an enor-
mous pot I realized
What an odd person I must be to
hear tiny cries from the mouths of
From Gooseberry Fool by Amy Clampitt
Altogether, the gooseberry virtues
take some getting
used to, much as does trepang
tripe à la mode de Caen,
or having turned thirteen.
From Work by Mary Oliver
The green pea
climbs the stake
on her sugary muscles.
The rosy comma of the radish
fattens the soil!
From The Mango of Poetry by Lorna Goodison
But now I think of a ripe mango
yellow ochre niceness
sweet flesh of St. Julian,
and all I want to do
is to eat one from the tree
planted by my father
three years before the sickness
made him fall prematurely.
From The Onion by Wistawa Szymborska
Natures rotundest tummy,
its greatest success story,
the onion drapes itself in its
own aureoles of glory.
We hold veins, nerves and fat,
secretions’ secret sections.
Not for us such idiotic onionoid perfections.
From Orchard by H.D.
I saw the first pear
as it fell-
the honey-seeking, golden-banded,
the yellow swarm
was not more fleet than I,
(spare us from loveliness)
and I fell prostrate
you have flayed us
with your blossoms,
spare us the beauty
From To a Poor Old Woman by William Carlos Williams
munching a plum on
the street a paper bag
of them in her hand
They taste good to her
They taste good
to her. They taste
good to her
You can see it by
the way she gives herself
to the one half
sucked out in her hand
a solace of ripe plums
seeming to fill the air
They taste good to her
From Metaphors by Sylvia Plath
I’m a riddle in nine syllables,
An elephant, a ponderous house,
A melon strolling on two tendrils.
O red fruit, ivory, fine timbers!
This loaf’s big with its yeasty rising.
Money’s new-minted in this fat purse.
I’m a means, a stage, a cow in calf.
I’ve eaten a bag of green apples,
Boarded the train there’s no getting off.
From Vespers by Louise Glück
In your extended absence, you permit me
use of earth, anticipating
some return on investment. I must report
failure in my assignment, principally
regarding the tomato plants.
From Knoxville, Tennessee by Nikki Giovanni
I always like summer
you can eat fresh corn
From daddy’s garden
And lots of
And homemade ice-cream
At the church picnic