friday feast: survey of literature (aka, beet and potatoes)

Happy Poetry Friday from Hawaii!   

Tomorrow I’ll be lunching with several college
friends, and we’ll likely reminisce about the
good old days at the University of Hawaii
Manoa Campus, where I majored in English
around 100 years ago.

Joyce Carol Oates once said,
“If food is poetry, is not poetry also food?”

Today’s lunch special is “Survey of Literature,”
by John Crowe Ransom.

(Stanza 10 is dedicated to this week’s hostess,
Sara Lewis Holmes, Queen of the Beets.
She’s a cool daddy-o.)

by John Crowe Ransom



In all the good Greek of Plato,
I lack my roast beef and potato.

A better man was Aristotle,
Pulling steady on the bottle.

I dip my hat to Chaucer,
Swilling soup in a saucer,

And to Master Shakespeare
Who wrote big on small beer.

The abstemious Wordsworth
Subsisted on a curd’s-worth,

But a slick one was Tennyson,
Putting gravy on his venison.

Read the rest of the poem here.

This week’s Poetry Friday Roundup is at Read Write Believe.

P.S. If you have room for dessert, please watch this:



9 thoughts on “friday feast: survey of literature (aka, beet and potatoes)

  1. Beets AND baloney…I’m one lucky girl today. Those were both great, and just like a good meal, I savored the contrasting flavors. (I must say, I never thought of baloney as dessert, but why not?)
    Thanks, Jama! So glad you’re enjoying time with friends in Hawaii. Bring back stories!


  2. TadMack says:
    Hah! What a cool poem! I guess poetry does count as food. Looking forward to the poetic equivalent of dark chocolate covered ginger and Macadamia nuts… happy reminiscing.


  3. I like the “Willie” Blake line. Thanks for the chow–I don’t think I’d seen this poem before.
    Chicken Spaghetti


  4. Hmm, I find I do write better on a full stomach, though I’m not so sure about all the drink! More … creatively, maybe.
    Loved dessert! And as for your previous comment … does “On Top of Spaghetti” count? 🙂


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