friday feast: joan logghe’s “Ode to Spoons” (+ a recipe)

from “Back to the Land” by Maira Kalman (2009)

When it comes to eating utensils, spoons reign supreme.

I’ve always loved them more than knives or forks, with their aggressive blades and tines, slices and stabs.

Spoons are friendlier, nurturing. Their rounded bowls invite you to dip, sip, and slurp. The word “spoon,” with its fun-to-pronounce double ‘o,’ has a charm all its own. Say it now:


See how your lips gently touch like a soft kiss? Adorable. 🙂

For most of us, spoons came first. Our hungry baby mouths opened wide for rice cereal, puréed peaches and strained peas. And when some of the food missed its target, the edge of the spoon magically corraled any oozy bits from chin and cheek. So accommodating!

And what about Spoon’s most important function?

SOUP! Ah, soup . . .

I was delighted to discover Joan Logghe’s “Ode to Spoons” recently. Love how she celebrates the divine in the everyday. I was happy to learn she shares my love for Maira Kalman, for whom ordinary objects also take on extraordinary significance when viewed through the lens of history, heart, memory.

Credit: Dana Gallagher via Town & Country Magazine

by Joan Logghe

Look at your face in a spoon.
See your ridiculous short life
stretch sideways to contain its
story in silver. I once knew
a woman with no spoons that matched.
She was a wild muttering song.
Her tea spoons were from all
the countries of the earth and
she tried to drink her soup
with souvenirs
of each of the fifty states.

One spoon floated spectral.
Japanese porcelain
so white that blue became
an excuse for beauty. Virtuous
spoons raise broth to the lips
of the dying. And navigate
through the flailing
arms of the baby, reflected
above his silver highchair tray.

My daughter received a spoon
with her own name, Hope, etched
into the sterling bowl.
Dated one hundred years
before her life, it revealed
the history of love
and of appetite in one face.

Shape of my mother wedged between
three sisters. The spoon of Ida,
the spoons of Ethel and Pearl.
As their death approaches
by simple fact of the waving night
they continue to shine like fine Hungarian
flatware, tiny lost ancestral dessert spoons.

The spoon is the yes
of the fork’s no. The spoon
is the girl to the fork’s
boy. Even silverware behaves
in this gendered manner.
And so the word spooning
was coined in the mouth
of the lover.

I love you, spoons,
for you feed myself
to me each day. I praise
your edge and your handle
that causes my hand to close
around you. I thank spoons
for rhyming with all
the predictable and
in thanking, I become myself
a sort of spoon
to scoop up praise.

~ from Written with a Spoon: A Poet’s Cookbook, edited by Nancy Fay & Judith Rafaela (Sherman Asher Publishing, 2002). Posted by permission of the author.

Hand-stamped “Hope” spoon by JessicaNDesigns

Joan: I love writing odes, focusing on praise and I think many of us are inspired by Pablo Neruda’s Elemental Odes or Odes to Common Things. I have written odes to many things, the world offers an endless opportunity for praise. I find that after I write an ode, I feel an increased tenderness and appreciation for the object or emotion.


Joan Logghe was Poet Laureate of Santa Fe 2010-2012.  She works at poetry and arts activism in community, off the academic grid in La Puebla, New Mexico. Joan has received an NEA in Poetry and a Mabel Dodge Lujan internship, and teaches widely, Ghost Ranch and University of New Mexico-Los Alamos and over 30 years as poet-in-the-schools and private classes from her living room to internationally. Her most recent books include The Singing Bowl (UNM Press, 2011), Unpunctuated Awe: Poems of Santa Fe (Tres Chicas Books, 2016), and Love & Death: Greatest Hits, with Tres Chicas co-founders Renée Gregorio and Miriam Sagan (2011).  She is the president of New Mexico Literary Arts, which aims to inspire & develop the imaginative use of language and to create opportunities for the integration of the literary arts with other art forms throughout New Mexico. Learn more at Joan’s Official Website and blog, The Poem Different.



PoemHolders was a project that emerged during Joan’s tenure as Santa Fe Poet Laureate. It combined her love of quilts with her secret mission to sneak poetry into everyday life. Email Joan directly to order ($25 each + shipping) — joanlogghe (at) gmail (dot) com. No two alike. Love them!


Enjoy the official book trailer for Joan’s book, The Singing Bowl:


Finally, Joan is sharing one of her favorite recipes — I have a feeling Marilyn Singer’s Little Miss Muffet would approve. 🙂

Joan Logghe's Cottage Cheese Pancakes


  • 1 cup cottage cheese, any variety
  • 1/2 cup flour (white, whole wheat or gluten free – my daughter uses almond meal and tapioca)
  • 1/4 cup milk (may substitute ‘milkish’ foods)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)


Place all ingredients in blender. Blend at high speed, stir down once. Let sit a minute.

Cook on oiled skillet.

Best served with drizzles of real maple syrup. Berries on the side are fabulous. Lots of protein so not as likely to crash mid morning.

Makes about 20 (4″) pancakes.


Thank you so much, Joan!!


poetry fridayJone MacCulloch is hosting the Roundup at Check It Out. Be sure to check out the full menu of poetic goodness being shared in the blogosphere this week. Enjoy your weekend!



wkendcookingiconThis post is also being linked to Beth Fish Read’s Weekend Cooking, where all are invited to share their food-related posts. Put on your best bibs and aprons and come join the fun!


Hand-stamped Spoon Bookmark by Stamp and Soul

Copyright © 2016 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

52 thoughts on “friday feast: joan logghe’s “Ode to Spoons” (+ a recipe)

  1. Jama, there is so much to love about this post that I don’t know where to begin! Maybe I should start with your loving meditation on spoons. Or maybe with these lines from Logghe’s glorious poem: “I become myself/ a sort of spoon/ to scoop up praise.” Or this: her “secret mission to sneak poetry into everyday life.” No matter what, I have savored every bit of this post and will now look for more of Logghe’s poetry, and get a poemholder or two. Thank you so much for sharing this today!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Catherine. I do love Joan’s PoemHolders project — and have always felt poetry should be a natural part of everyday life. She’s a poet after my own heart. Glad you enjoyed her poem and this post. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That book trailer, wow. I love the spine being the ladder up and down, and a newborn losing his angel sense. Gave me shivers. Made me remember the first scent of my child, as I lay on the hospital bed, the waxy skin, the earnest stare of the blue eyes. And the spoons I fed my babies with, them grabbing hold with pudgy hands. Domestic subjects hold my heart.


  3. Jama, I am in love with poemholders! Thank you so much for sharing this. I feel like every poem I write is somehow a love poem, often an ode. Spoons are special in their roundness and openess… some of the best things we eat, we eat with spoons! Thank you. xo


  4. So nice to hear of someone writing out my way, Jama. I love Santa Fe, have been to Ghost Ranch several times. It’s an inspiring place, and now you’ve introduced us to this wonderful poet who loves spoons, and other commonplace things. Those poemholders are wonderful to see. The poem was read more than once, to savor all those parts of a spoon I’ve never thought of. Ah, poets make us look, don’t they? “Japanese porcelain
    so white that blue became/an excuse for beauty.” Thank you!


    I think we’ve achieved peak kitchen couture coolness here. Those are amazing!
    What a lovely poem – all the spoons I’ve seen people collect, and which I peruse in thrift stores. I have a wind chime made of old spoons. I love an old silver spoon, indeed, and all of the bracelets and bookmarks and things which people make of them now are simply brilliant.


    1. Yes, they are beautiful and interesting — many are little works of art and it’s fun to compare spoon designs from culture to culture. Nice to hear from a doll collector (I’m a teddy bear collector).


  6. “wild muttering song” ~ love this. Thank you for introducing us to Joan. I love the quitled poem art. gorgeous. Will need to check out her book.


  7. Loved Ode to Spoons, Jama–thank you for sharing it! “The spoon is the yes/of the fork’s no.” YES!! Loved that line!


  8. “…you cannot take back your lack
    of gratitude, but praising, may begin.”

    Thank you for a spoon brimming full of loveliness, Jama. I bet Joan gets lots of orders for PoemHolders because of this post! (Heading over now…)


  9. Okay, so now I want to collect spoons too. Absolutely love the poem holders and the book trailer, the poems and the recipe. Another wonderful post!


  10. A big soup spoon of appreciations, Jama.
    I love knowing about a poet new to me, JOAN LOGGHE.
    And I feel well-stirred with your thoughts on spoons.
    I re-remembered, for the 1st time in my adult years, that I did look into big shiny spoons for
    my silly-stretched reflection as a kid. I want to do that again. O how wonderful to capture a
    happy memory. (And in these difficult days.)
    I like how thoughtful Joan L. is. And how inventive her poem holders are.
    If I played the spoons, this post would be a happy jig.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Your post is full of richness and delight! I want to try writing an ode now and I want more of Joan Logghe. Thank you for a new poet, Poemholders, stamped spoons, a new recipe to try- everything! I love these lines: “Japanese porcelain so white that blue became an excuse for beauty.”


    1. The ever accommodating spoon loves to rhyme and is a poet’s best friend. moon croon tune honeymoon . . . just try that with “fork” = a prickly pointy utensil mostly embraced by pigs. “Pork” just doesn’t have that melodic edge . . . 🙂


  12. I really enjoyed your piece on Joan Logghe, what a fascinating poet. Those poem holders are brilliant, and will make some lovely Christmas presents. I used to date a boy whose mother had the most beautiful spoon collection, I thought it was quirky and wonderful all at the same time. It’s amazing how connected we are to the spoon. Such an enjoyable post, thank you.


    1. Thanks so much for your lovely comment, Jean. I knew a few people who collected those spoons from all 50 states and displayed them in that special wall holder. They were definitely on to something. 🙂


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