friday feast: what is j. patrick lewis’s favorite cookie?

Awhile ago, we learned that indefatigable former U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis likes Snickers bars.

Do you think he keeps a stash near his desk, reaching for a chocolaty bite of nougat, caramel and peanuts whenever he starts a new poem?



For someone who writes that much, and that fast, there must be yet another treat fueling his creativity.

Perhaps the answer lies in this freshly baked triolet, which Pat says was inspired by a Valentine triolet about love written by Wendy Cope, one of his favorite light versifiers.

via Secret Restaurant Copycat Recipes



~ Apologies to Wendy Cope


My tongue has just decided

Its favorite treat is you.

And equally delighted?

My stomach! Any-sided

With peanut butter. Why did

I say I’d stop at two?

My tongue has just decided

Its favorite treat is you.


~ Copyright © 2014 J. Patrick Lewis. All rights reserved.

*   *   *

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friday feast: gearing up with poem-mobiles by j. patrick lewis, douglas florian and jeremy holmes

Ahem. I’ve known for some time that poets J. Patrick Lewis and Douglas Florian are both crazy. Crazy talented, that is.

Ebullient wizards of comedic timing and wordplay, these two pun meisters should be arrested for having way too much fun. Having tickled the funny bones of kids everywhere for decades, they’ve each published dozens of award winning books that celebrate the many wonderful possibilities of poetry. Such joy! Such cleverness! Such vigorous versifying! Veddy veddy good.

Now, a new book by either one of these beloved poets is a real treat, but having them write a book together is like having your cake and eating it two, three, maybe five thousand times. In Poem-Mobiles: Crazy Car Poems (Schwartz & Wade, 2014), Mr. Lewis and Mr. Florian have set their engines at full throttle, pulling out all the stops when it comes to inventing 21 crazy dazy cars of the future.

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friday feast: a peek at world rat day by j. patrick lewis and anna raff

rat day cover (2)450

Usually I don’t like to say this in polite company, but ahem . . .  I smell a rat!

Actually four rats, nattily sporting bowtie, necktie, fedora, and boater, casually working the stripes, football jerseys, overalls, scuba gear and yes, bunny ears, as they boogie, strut, scamper and cavort through the pages of this brand new poetry collection by our studly but relentlessly mischievous Children’s Poet Laureate, J. Patrick Lewis.

Due props to him and award-winning illustrator Anna Raff for creating this zany celebration of 22 “Real Holidays You’ve Never Heard Of ” in World Rat Day (Candlewick, 2013), destined to be an instant favorite among munchkins and short grown-ups who enjoy quirky-fun animal poems, what poet Bobbi Katz calls “ear food for elementary school kids.”

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friday feast: chocolate mustache party!

Help yourself to any of the refreshments in this post. Tips welcome.


If you were a chocolate mustache,
And I were a peanut-butter purse,
Then we would be living somewhere
Else in the universe.

~ J. Patrick Lewis (“Elsewhere in the Universe”)

I’ve always said the best poems are the ones that feel like they were written just for you.

Well, the one and only J. Patrick Lewis, our much beloved Children’s Poet Laureate, has written an entire book of poems just for me! Look:

He actually had me at the title — I’ve made no secret about my obsession with mad love for chocolate and mustaches. But when I opened this bountiful feast of 125 funny, cuckoo, clever, punderful, endearing, burp-inducing, useful, snorty, short, twisty, wacky, vigorously vivacious verse, I totally flipped out of town. My tines tingled, my spoons swooned, my knives knocked.

“Dang, he’s good!”

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friday feast: peeling it back with j. patrick lewis (the top banana)

Top Banana by shutterbugdeb

I must confess to feeling quite yellow today.

Not yellow as in dingy or cowardly.

Yellow as in sunshiny bright and slap happy. It’s all because I’ve just read a poem that feels like it was written just for me. ☺

Oh, at last! Somebody understands! Somebody KNOWS. And it’s our  Children’s Poet Laureate, no less. Phew! I thought I was the only one. Yes, we have some bananas today.


by J. Patrick Lewis

Why not divide the world in two:
Those who don’t from those who do
Detest banana strings? Do you?

I wish bananas just came plain
Without that long mushy membrane,
That nauseating food chain chain.

Take a banana, then start to peel.
Now tell the truth, how does it feel?
And don’t ask me, What’s the big deal?

If I so much as see a string,
I tweezer off the ugly thing
As gummy as a bathtub ring.

Would you eat hot dogs wearing hair?
No! Say good night to this nightmare.
Always eat your bananas bare.

Copyright © 2011 J. Patrick Lewis. All rights reserved.

While we’re in a bare bananas frame of mind, do you by chance also belong to the, “I’m the only one in my house who eats bananas, and hate when the entire bunch ripens at the same time” club? Oh, the pressure to eat them all!

This just in: There’s hope! Supposedly, if you peel a banana top to bottom with the stem side down (like monkeys do), the strings (phloem bundles) are less likely to adhere to the fruit.

I tried this with my breakfast banana the other day, and it didn’t work. Those strings were still clinging and messy and positively mocking me! What am I doing wrong? They just won’t leave me alone. But you might have better luck. My only consolation is that I have Pat’s poem, which I’ll henceforth read several times before battling any future strings.

Phloem bundles? Who knew they had such an important function — carrying nutrients to the entire fruit? Mother Nature doesn’t make any mistakes. But she sure likes to string us along (sorry, couldn’t resist). ☺

Thanks a bunch, Pat!

To alleviate your string stress, wrap your lips around this (no strings attached):

(click for Black Bottom Banana Cream Pie recipe)

♥ Today’s Poetry Friday Roundup host is Katie at Secrets and Sharing Soda. Feast on the full menu of poems and enjoy your weekend!

♥ Visit J. Patrick Lewis’s official website!

♥ For more monkey business, i.e., a “disturbing new fashion trend,” read this.

♥ To bask in more yellowness, click here.

♥ Yes, there is even a I Hate Banana Strings Facebook Page.

One more thing: Do you peel as you go, or take the entire peel off before eating? I like my bananas totally naked. ☺


Copyright © 2011 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.