#1 in the Poetry Potluck Series, celebrating National Poetry Month 2012.
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do/ with your one wild and precious life?” ~ Mary Oliver (“The Summer Day,” House of Light, 1990).
So glad you’re here!
The table is set, the soup’s simmering gently on the stove, and our guest poets are arriving!
Beginning Monday, April 2nd, each of them will take turns sharing a poem or two and one of their favorite recipes. They’ll be coming from places like California, Colorado, New Jersey, Indiana, Washington, D.C., Georgia, Massachusetts, and Texas. I love a good potluck — it’s always so much fun to see what everybody brings and sample what they’ve made. There’s nothing like tasty food and good poetry to bring like-minded people together in celebration of truth, beauty and creativity. I’m sure you’ll enjoy this year’s Menu, which features a variety of verse forms and subjects pensive and playful, intimate and worldly.
*adjusts bib and licks chops*
Here are this year’s guest poets (in no particular order):
*2012 Alphabet Soup Poetry Potluck Menu*
April Pulley Sayre
Robyn Hood Black
Lesa Taylor Medley
Heidi Bee Roemer
Aren’t they beautiful? It’s such an honor to have them in the Alphabet Soup kitchen to help us celebrate National Poetry Month! ☺
This year’s Potluck is dedicated to Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winning poet Mary Oliver, who as many of you know, has had to cancel recent public appearances due to illness. We send her our love, prayers and healing thoughts.
For our Potluck appetizer, one of my favorite Mary poems. Honey, with its many culinary uses, religious significance, and medicinal properties, seems just right for the occasion. Poetry is ancient, predating literacy, and the collection and cultivation of honey, dating back some 8,000 years, belongs to that same period in mankind’s history. Let’s savor the sweetness poetry affords us throughout April, remembering where we came from and who we are.
HONEY AT THE TABLE
It fills you with the soft
essence of vanished flowers, it becomes
a trickle sharp as a hair that you follow
from the honey pot over the table
and out the door and over the ground,
and all the while it thickens,
grows deeper and wilder, edged
with pine boughs and wet boulders,
pawprints of bobcat and bear, until
deep in the forest you
shuffle up some tree, you rip the bark,
you float into and swallow the dripping combs,
bits of the tree, crushed bees – – a taste
composed of everything lost, in which everything lost is found.
~ from American Primitive (Atlantic Monthly Press, 1984)
Since Mary lives in Provincetown, Massachusetts, where I once had the best lobster roll ever, we must also have some of these (nom, nom):
POETRY POTLUCK GIVEAWAY
One lucky reader will win:
- American Primitive, Mary Oliver’s Pulitzer Prize winning collection, which includes “Honey at the Table.” “These poems consist of ‘ . . . the cords/of my body stretching/and singing in the/heaven of appetite.’ Their speaker ‘ . . . ate chunks of pure light.'”
- Appetite: Food as Metaphor, An Anthology of Women Poets, edited by Phyllis Stowell and Jeanne Foster, BOA Editions, Ltd., 2002. “In poems from as varied women poets as Jane Kenyon, Lucille Clifton, and Anne Sexton, food emerges as a reoccurring and central metaphor in the way women live, in the pulse of the everyday, and as a vehicle for the exotic. From coffee to caviar, from potatoes to dandelions — even in hunger and anorexia — the metaphors of food have worked like yeast in the imaginations of these poets.” One of my favorite collections of food poetry!
- Raven Lunatic Magnetic List: Cornelius, a longtime Poe fan, suggests using this pad to write list or found poems.
- Brief Moosages Notebook, donated by Hatley, your friendly sidebar text moosager. He would like you to take nature walks and jot down your impressions, just like Mary Oliver does. Underwear not included.
- Alphabet Soup pencils: Especially good for recording recipes, composing haiku or sonnets, and writing letters home.
To enter this giveaway, simply leave a comment at any post during the month of April. You may earn extra entries by sharing this post via your blog or social networks (please note in your comment). You may also enter by sending an email with “Poetry Potluck Giveaway” in the subject line to: readermail (at) jamakimrattigan (dot) com. Open to U.S. residents only. Please leave contact info if you don’t have a blog. Winner announced first week of May.
POETRY POTLUCK DOOR PRIZES
To be eligible for a door prize, simply comment on any weekday post. Winners will be chosen at random from among each week’s commenters. Cornelius will share a Mary Oliver poem and announce the winners on Sundays. Winning a door prize will not make you ineligible for the main Potluck Giveaway Prize.
Door Prize Books (underlined titles have been reviewed at Alphabet Soup):
- BookSpeak by Laura Purdie Salas and Josée Bisaillon (Clarion, 2011)
- Guacamole: A Cooking Poem by Jorge Argueta and Margarita Sada (Groundwood Books, 2012)
- The President’s Stuck in the Bathtub by Susan Katz and Robert Neubecker (Clarion, 2012)
- Hidden by Helen Frost (FSG, 2011)
- Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku by Lee Wardlaw and Eugene Yelchin (Henry Holt, 2011)
- Water Sings Blue by Kate Coombs and Meilo So (Chronicle Books, 2012)
- Declaration of Interdependence: Poems for an Election Year by Janet Wong (Suitcase Poems, 2012) **signed by the author
**Special thanks to all the publishers and author Janet Wong for donating these door prizes.
♥ Enjoy this video of Mary Oliver reading three of her poems, including “Wild Geese.”
♥ Click here to visit the Dear Mary blog, where the public is invited to submit testimonials and tributes honoring Mary Oliver’s work.
The lovely Heidi Mordhorst is hosting this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup at My Juicy Little Universe. Sashay on over there and check out all the delightful poems being served up in the blogosphere. See you on Monday!
This post is also being linked to Beth Fish Read’s Weekend Cooking, where all are invited to share food related posts (recipes, fiction/nonfiction/cookbook/movie reviews, photos, random thoughts, etc.).
Copyright © 2012 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.