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Best Famous Food Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Food poems. This is a select list of the best famous Food poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Food poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of food poems.

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See also: Best Member Poems

by A E Housman | |

On the Idle Hill of Summer

On the idle hill of summer,
Sleepy with the flow of streams, 
Far I hear the steady drummer
Drumming like a noise in dreams.
Far and near and low and louder On the roads of earth go by, Dear to friends and food for powder, Soldiers marching, all to die.
East and west on fields forgotten Bleach the bones of comrades slain, Lovely lads and dead and rotten; None that go return again.
Far the calling bugles hollo, High the screaming fife replies, Gay the files of scarlet follow: Woman bore me, I will rise.


by Edgar Allan Poe | |

The Conqueror Worm

Lo! 't is a gala night

Within the lonesome latter years!
An angel throng bewinged bedight

In veils and drowned in tears 
Sit in a theatre to see

A play of hopes and fears 
While the orchestra breathes fitfully

The music of the spheres.
Mimes in the form of God on high Mutter and mumble low And hither and thither fly - Mere puppets they who come and go At bidding of vast formless things That shift the scenery to and fro Flapping from out their Condor wings Invisible Woe! That motley drama! - oh be sure It shall not be forgot! With its Phantom chased for evermore By a crowd that seize it not Through a circle that ever returneth in To the self-same spot And much of Madness and more of Sin And Horror the soul of the plot.
But see amid the mimic rout A crawling shape intrude! A blood-red thing that writhes from out The scenic solitude! It writhes! - it writhes! - with mortal pangs The mimes become its food And the seraphs sob at vermin fangs In human gore imbued.
Out - out are the lights - out all! And over each quivering form The curtain a funeral pall Comes down with the rush of a storm And the angels all pallid and wan Uprising unveiling affirm That the play is the tragedy "Man" And its hero the Conqueror Worm.


by Anonymous | |

I HAVE A HOME.

I have a home in which to live,
A bed to rest upon,
Good food to eat, and fire to warm,
And raiment to put on.
[Pg 028]
Kind parents, full of gentle love,
Brothers and sisters, too,
With many faithful, loving friends,
Who teach me what to do.
How many little children have
No food, nor clothes to wear,
No house, nor home, nor parents kind,
To guide them by their care.
For all Thy bounty, O my God,
May I be grateful found,
And ever show my love to Thee,
By loving all around.


More great poems below...

by Anonymous | |

THE BIRD’S NEST.

There’s a nest in the hedge-row,
Half bid by the leaves,
And the sprays, white with blossom,
Bend o’er it like eaves.
God gives birds their lodging,
He gives them their food,
And they trust He will give them
Whatever is good.
Ah! when our rich blessings,
My child, we forget;
When for some little trouble
We murmur and fret;Hear sweet voices singing
In hedges and trees:
Shall we be less thankful,
Less trustful than these?
[Pg 030]


by Ben Jonson | |

Song. To Sickness


VIII.
 ? SONG.
 ? TO SICKNESS.
     
To thy altars, by their nights
Spent in surfeits ; and their days,
And nights too, in worser ways ?
    Take heed, Sickness, what you do,
I shall fear you'll surfeit too.

Live not we, as all thy stalls,And this age will build no more.

    'Pray thee, feed contented then,
    Sickness, only on us men ;
    Or if it needs thy lust will taste
    Woman-kind ; devour the waste
    Livers, round about the town.

But, forgive me, ? with thy crown
They maintain the truest trade,
10    Daintiness, and softer ease,
    Sleeked limbs, and finest blood ?
    If thy leanness love such food,
    There are those, that for thy sake,
    Do enough ; and who would take
    Any pains : yea, think it price,
    To become thy sacrifice.

    That distill, their husbands' land    Lying for the spirit of amber.

    That for the oil of talc dare spend
    More than citizens dare lend
    Them, and all their officers.

    That to make all pleasure theirs,
    Will by coach, and water go,
    Every stew in town to know ;
    Dare entail their loves on any,    Play away health, wealth, and fame.

These, Disease, will thee deserve ;
And will long, ere thou should'st starve,
On their beds, most prostitute,
Move it, as their humblest suit,
In thy justice to molest
None but them, and leave the rest.

Ladies, and of them the best?
Do not men enow of rights
To thy altars, by their nights
Spent in surfeits ; and their days,
And nights too, in worser ways ?
    Take heed, Sickness, what you do,
I shall fear you'll surfeit too.

Live not we, as all thy stalls,


by Stephen Vincent Benet | |

Dinner in a Quick Lunch Room

 Soup should be heralded with a mellow horn, 
Blowing clear notes of gold against the stars; 
Strange entrees with a jangle of glass bars 
Fantastically alive with subtle scorn; 
Fish, by a plopping, gurgling rush of waters, 
Clear, vibrant waters, beautifully austere; 
Roast, with a thunder of drums to stun the ear, 
A screaming fife, a voice from ancient slaughters! 

Over the salad let the woodwinds moan; 
Then the green silence of many watercresses; 
Dessert, a balalaika, strummed alone; 
Coffee, a slow, low singing no passion stresses; 
Such are my thoughts as -- clang! crash! bang! -- I brood 
And gorge the sticky mess these fools call food!


by Edna St Vincent Millay | |

Love Is Not All

 Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink
Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain; 
Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink 
And rise and sink and rise and sink again; 
Love can not fill the thickened lung with breath, 
Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone; 
Yet many a man is making friends with death 
Even as I speak, for lack of love alone.
It well may be that in a difficult hour, Pinned down by pain and moaning for release, Or nagged by want past resolution's power, I might be driven to sell your love for peace, Or trade the memory of this night for food.
It well may be.
I do not think I would.


by Edna St Vincent Millay | |

Oh Think Not I Am Faithful

 III

OH, THINK not I am faithful to a vow!
Faithless am I save to love's self alone.
Were you not lovely I would leave you now: After the feet of beauty fly my own.
Were you not still my hunger's rarest food, And water ever to my wildest thirst, I would desert you­think not but I would!­ And seek another as I sought you first.
But you are mobile as the veering air, And all your charms more changeful than the tide, Wherefore to be inconstant is no care: I have but to continue at your side.
So wanton, light and false, my love, are you, I am most faithless when I most am true.


by Marianne Moore | |

Nevertheless

 you've seen a strawberry
that's had a struggle; yet
was, where the fragments met,

a hedgehog or a star-
fish for the multitude
of seeds.
What better food than apple seeds - the fruit within the fruit - locked in like counter-curved twin hazelnuts? Frost that kills the little rubber-plant - leaves of kok-sagyyz-stalks, can't harm the roots; they still grow in frozen ground.
Once where there was a prickley-pear - leaf clinging to a barbed wire, a root shot down to grow in earth two feet below; as carrots from mandrakes or a ram's-horn root some- times.
Victory won't come to me unless I go to it; a grape tendril ties a knot in knots till knotted thirty times - so the bound twig that's under- gone and over-gone, can't stir.
The weak overcomes its menace, the strong over- comes itself.
What is there like fortitude! What sap went through that little thread to make the cherry red!


by Petrarch | |

SONNET C.

SONNET C.

Poi che 'l cammin m' è chiuso di mercede.

THOUGH FAR FROM LAURA, SOLITARY AND UNHAPPY, ENVY STILL PURSUES HIM.

Since mercy's door is closed, alas! to me,
And hopeless paths my poor life separate
From her in whom, I know not by what fate,
The guerdon lay of all my constancy,
My heart that lacks not other food, on sighs
I feed: to sorrow born, I live on tears:
Nor therefore mourn I: sweeter far appears
My present grief than others can surmise.
[Pg 130]On thy dear portrait rests alone my view,
Which nor Praxiteles nor Xeuxis drew,
But a more bold and cunning pencil framed.
What shore can hide me, or what distance shield,
If by my cruel exile yet untamed
Insatiate Envy finds me here concealed?
Macgregor.


by Petrarch | |

SONNET CXC

SONNET CXC

Passer mai solitario in alcun tetto.

FAR FROM HIS BELOVED, LIFE IS MISERABLE BY NIGHT AS BY DAY.

Never was bird, spoil'd of its young, more sad,
Or wild beast in his lair more lone than me,
[Pg 202]Now that no more that lovely face I see,
The only sun my fond eyes ever had.
In ceaseless sorrow is my chief delight:
My food to poison turns, to grief my joy;
The night is torture, dark the clearest sky,
And my lone pillow a hard field of fight.
Sleep is indeed, as has been well express'd.
Akin to death, for it the heart removes
From the dear thought in which alone I live.
Land above all with plenty, beauty bless'd!
Ye flowery plains, green banks and shady groves!
Ye hold the treasure for whose loss I grieve!
Macgregor.


by Petrarch | |

SONNET XL.

[Pg 49]

SONNET XL.

Se mai foco per foco non si spense.

HIS HEART IS ALL IN FLAMES, BUT HIS TONGUE IS MUTE, IN HER PRESENCE.

If fire was never yet by fire subdued,
If never flood fell dry by frequent rain,
But, like to like, if each by other gain,
And contraries are often mutual food;
Love, who our thoughts controllest in each mood,
Through whom two bodies thus one soul sustain,
How, why in her, with such unusual strain
Make the want less by wishes long renewed?
Perchance, as falleth the broad Nile from high,
Deafening with his great voice all nature round,
And as the sun still dazzles the fix'd eye,
So with itself desire in discord found
Loses in its impetuous object force,
As the too frequent spur oft checks the course.
Macgregor.


by Sharmagne Leland-St John | |

There Were Dry Red Days

 by Sharmagne Leland-St.
John There were dry red days Devoid of clouds Devoid of breeze Sound bruised My burning bones Dirt cracked my hands And caked my cheeks No buds on limbs of trees No birds on branches No hope of rain Scrawny chickens Kicked up dust Scratching for food That wasn't there In the stifling, stillness Of the scorched night We dreamt Of cool oases Tropical isles Emerald bays Not these dry red days


by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe | |

FOOD IN TRAVEL.

 IF to her eyes' bright lustre I were blind,

No longer would they serve my life to gild.
The will of destiny must be fulfilid,-- This knowing, I withdrew with sadden'd mind.
No further happiness I now could find: The former longings of my heart were still'd; I sought her looks alone, whereon to build My joy in life,--all else was left behind.
Wine's genial glow, the festal banquet gay, Ease, sleep, and friends, all wonted pleasures glad I spurn'd, till little there remain'd to prove.
Now calmly through the world I wend my way: That which I crave may everywhere be had, With me I bring the one thing needful--love.
1807?8.


by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe | |

TO THE HUSBANDMAN.

 SMOOTHLY and lightly the golden seed by the furrow is cover'd;

Yet will a deeper one, friend, cover thy bones at the last.
Joyously plough'd and sow'd! Here food all living is budding, E'en from the side of the tomb Hope will not vanish away.
1789.
*


by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe | |

THE DILETTANTE AND THE CRITIC.

 A BOY a pigeon once possess'd,
In gay and brilliant plumage dress'd;
He loved it well, and in boyish sport
Its food to take from his mouth he taught,
And in his pigeon he took such pride,
That his joy to others he needs must confide.
An aged fox near the place chanc'd to dwell, Talkative, clever, and learned as well; The boy his society used to prize, Hearing with pleasure his wonders and lies.
"My friend the fox my pigeon must see He ran, and stretch'd 'mongst the bushes lay he "Look, fox, at my pigeon, my pigeon so fair! His equal I'm sure thou hast look'd upon ne'er!" "Let's see!"--The boy gave it.
--"'Tis really not bad; And yet, it is far from complete, I must add.
The feathers, for, instance, how short! 'Tis absurd!" So he set to work straightway to pluck the poor bird.
The boy screamed.
--"Thou must now stronger pinions supply, Or else 'twill be ugly, unable to fly.
"-- Soon 'twas stripp'd--oh, the villain!--and torn all to pieces.
The boy was heart-broken,--and so my tale ceases.
* * * * He who sees in the boy shadow'd forth his own case, Should be on his guard 'gainst the fox's whole race.
1776.
*


by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe | |

DISTICHS.

 CHORDS are touch'd by Apollo,--the death-laden 
bow, too, he bendeth;

While he the shepherdess charms, Python he lays 
in the dust.
WHAT is merciful censure? To make thy faults appear smaller? May be to veil them? No, no! O'er them to raise thee on high! DEMOCRATIC food soon cloys on the multitude's stomach; But I'll wager, ere long, other thou'lt give them instead.
WHAT in France has pass'd by, the Germans continue to practise, For the proudest of men flatters the people and fawns.
WHO is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, And in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own.
NOT in the morning alone, not only at mid-day he charmeth; Even at setting, the sun is still the same glorious planet.


by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe | |

WONT AND DONE.

 I HAVE loved; for the first time with passion I rave!
I then was the servant, but now am the slave;

I then was the servant of 
all:
By this creature so charming I now am fast bound,
To love and love's guerdon she turns all around,

And her my sole mistress 
I call.
l've had faith; for the first time my faith is now strong! And though matters go strangely, though matters go wrong, To the ranks of the faithful I'm true: Though ofttimes 'twas dark and though ofttimes 'twas drear, In the pressure of need, and when danger was near, Yet the dawning of light I now view.
I have eaten; but ne'er have thus relish'd my food! For when glad are the senses, and joyous the blood, At table all else is effaced As for youth, it but swallows, then whistles an air; As for me, to a jovial resort I'd repair, Where to eat, and enjoy what I taste.
I have drunk; but have never thus relish'd the bowl! For wine makes us lords, and enlivens the soul, And loosens the trembling slave's tongue.
Let's not seek to spare then the heart-stirring drink, For though in the barrel the old wine may sink, In its place will fast mellow the young.
I have danced, and to dancing am pledged by a vow! Though no caper or waltz may be raved about now, In a dance that's becoming, whirl round.
And he who a nosegay of flowers has dress'd, And cares not for one any more than the rest, With a garland of mirth is aye crown'd.
Then once more be merry, and banish all woes! For he who but gathers the blossoming rose.
By its thorns will be tickled alone.
To-day still, as yesterday, glimmers the star; Take care from all heads that hang down to keep far, And make but the future thine own.
1813.


by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe | |

OPEN TABLE.

 MANY a guest I'd see to-day,

Met to taste my dishes!
Food in plenty is prepar'd,

Birds, and game, and fishes.
Invitations all have had, All proposed attending.
Johnny, go and look around! Are they hither wending? Pretty girls I hope to see, Dear and guileless misses, Ignorant how sweet it is Giving tender kisses.
Invitations all have had, All proposed attending.
Johnny, go and look around! Are they hither wending? Women also I expect, Loving tow'rd their spouses, Whose rude grumbling in their breasts Greater love but rouses.
Invitations they've had too, All proposed attending! Johnny, go and look around! Are they hither wending? I've too ask'd young gentlemen, Who are far from haughty, And whose purses are well-stock'd, Well-behaved, not haughty.
These especially I ask'd, All proposed attending.
Johnny, go and look around! Are they hither wending? Men I summon'd with respect, Who their own wives treasure; Who in ogling other Fair Never take a pleasure.
To my greetings they replied, All proposed attending.
Johnny, go and look around! Are they hither wending? Then to make our joy complete, Poets I invited, Who love other's songs far more Than what they've indited.
All acceded to my wish, All proposed attending.
Johnny, go and look around! Are they hither wending? Not a single one appears, None seem this way posting.
All the soup boils fast away, Joints are over-roasting.
Ah, I fear that we have been Rather too unbending! Johnny, tell me what you think! None are hither wending.
Johnny, run and quickly bring Other guests to me now! Each arriving as he is-- That's the plan, I see now.
In the town at once 'tis known, Every one's commending.
Johnny, open all the doors: All are hither wending! 1815.
*


by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe | |

FORTUNE OF WAR.

 NOUGHT more accursed in war I know

Than getting off scot-free;
Inured to danger, on we go

In constant victory;
We first unpack, then pack again,

With only this reward,
That when we're marching, we complain,

And when in camp, are bor'd.
The time for billeting comes next,-- The peasant curses it; Each nobleman is sorely vex'd, 'Tis hated by the cit.
Be civil, bad though be thy food, The clowns politely treat; If to our hosts we're ever rude, Jail-bread we're forced to eat.
And when the cannons growl around, And small arms rattle clear, And trumpet, trot, and drum resound, We merry all appear; And as it in the fight may chance, We yield, then charge amain, And now retire, and now advance, And yet a cross ne'er gain.
At length there comes a musket-ball, And hits the leg, please Heaven; And then our troubles vanish all, For to the town we're driven, (Well cover'd by the victor's force,) Where we in wrath first came,-- The women, frightened then, of course, Are loving now and tame.
Cellar and heart are open'd wide, The cook's allow'd no rest; While beds with softest down supplied Are by our members press'd.
The nimble lads upon us wait, No sleep the hostess takes Her shift is torn in pieces straight,-- What wondrous lint it makes! If one has tended carefully The hero's wounded limb, Her neighbour cannot rest, for she Has also tended him.
A third arrives in equal haste, At length they all are there, And in the middle he is placed Of the whole band so fair! On good authority the king Hears how we love the fight, And bids them cross and ribbon bring, Our coat and breast to dight.
Say if a better fate can e'er A son of Mars pursue! 'Midst tears at length we go from there, Beloved and honour'd too.
1814.


by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe | |

THE CRITIC.

 I HAD a fellow as my guest,
Not knowing he was such a pest,
And gave him just my usual fare;
He ate his fill of what was there,

And for desert my best things swallow'd,
Soon as his meal was o'er, what follow'd?
Led by the Deuce, to a neighbour he went,
And talk'd of my food to his heart's content:
"The soup might surely have had more spice,
The meat was ill-brown'd, and the wine wasn't nice.
" A thousand curses alight on his head! 'Tis a critic, I vow! Let the dog be struck dead! 1776.
*


by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe | |

THE EAGLE AND DOVE.

 IN search of prey once raised his pinions
An eaglet;
A huntsman's arrow came, and reft
His right wing of all motive power.
Headlong he fell into a myrtle grove, For three long days on anguish fed, In torment writhed Throughout three long, three weary nights; And then was cured, Thanks to all-healing Nature's Soft, omnipresent balm.
He crept away from out the copse, And stretch'd his wing--alas! Lost is all power of flight-- He scarce can lift himself From off the ground To catch some mean, unworthy prey, And rests, deep-sorrowing, On the low rock beside the stream.
Up to the oak he looks, Looks up to heaven, While in his noble eye there gleams a tear.
Then, rustling through the myrtle boughs, behold, There comes a wanton pair of doves, Who settle down, and, nodding, strut O'er the gold sands beside the stream, And gradually approach; Their red-tinged eyes, so full of love, Soon see the inward-sorrowing one.
The male, inquisitively social, leaps On the next bush, and looks Upon him kindly and complacently.
"Thou sorrowest," murmurs he: "Be of good cheer, my friend! All that is needed for calm happiness Hast thou not here? Hast thou not pleasure in the golden bough That shields thee from the day's fierce glow? Canst thou not raise thy breast to catch, On the soft moss beside the brook, The sun's last rays at even? Here thou mayst wander through the flowers' fresh dew, Pluck from the overflow The forest-trees provide, Thy choicest food,--mayst quench Thy light thirst at the silvery spring.
Oh friend, true happiness Lies in contentedness, And that contentedness Finds everywhere enough.
" "Oh, wise one!" said the eagle, while he sank In deep and ever deep'ning thought-- "Oh Wisdom! like a dove thou speakest!" 1774.
*


by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe | |

VANITAS! VANITATUM VANITAS!

 MY trust in nothing now is placed,

Hurrah!
So in the world true joy I taste,

Hurrah!
Then he who would be a comrade of mine
Must rattle his glass, and in chorus combine,
Over these dregs of wine.
I placed my trust in gold and wealth, Hurrah! But then I lost all joy and health, Lack-a-day! Both here and there the money roll'd, And when I had it here, behold, From there had fled the gold! I placed my trust in women next, Hurrah! But there in truth was sorely vex'd, Lack-a-day! The False another portion sought, The True with tediousness were fraught, The Best could not be bought.
My trust in travels then I placed, Hurrah! And left my native land in haste.
Lack-a-day! But not a single thing seem'd good, The beds were bad, and strange the food, And I not understood.
I placed my trust in rank and fame, Hurrah! Another put me straight to shame, Lack-a-day! And as I had been prominent, All scowl'd upon me as I went, I found not one content.
I placed my trust in war and fight, Hurrah! We gain'd full many a triumph bright, Hurrah! Into the foeman's land we cross'd, We put our friends to equal cost, And there a leg I lost.
My trust is placed in nothing now, Hurrah! At my command the world must bow, Hurrah! And as we've ended feast and strain, The cup we'll to the bottom drain; No dregs must there remain! 1806.


by Li Bai | |

The Hard Road - 1 of 3

Pure wine costs, for the golden cup,

ten thousand coppers a flagon,

And a jade plate of dainty food calls for million coins.
I fling aside my chop-sticks and cup, I cannot eat nor drink.
.
.
I pull out my dagger, I peer four ways in vain.
I would cross the Yellow River, but ice chokes the ferry; I would climb the Tai-hang Mountains, but the sky is blind with snow.
.
I would sit and poise a fishing-pole, lazy by a brook -- But I suddenly dream of riding a boat, sailing for the sun.
.
.
Journeying is hard, Journeying is hard.
There are many turings -- Which am I to follow?.
.
.
I will mount a long wind some day and break the heavy waves And set my cloudy sail straight and bridge the deep, deep sea.


by Sir Walter Raleigh | |

Nature that Washed Her Hands in Milk

 Nature, that washed her hands in milk, 
And had forgot to dry them, 
Instead of earth took snow and silk, 
At love's request to try them, 
If she a mistress could compose 
To please love's fancy out of those.
Her eyes he would should be of light, A violet breath, and lips of jelly; Her hair not black, nor overbright, And of the softest down her belly; As for her inside he'd have it Only of wantonness and wit.
At love's entreaty such a one Nature made, but with her beauty She hath framed a heart of stone; So as Love, by ill destiny, Must die for her whom nature gave him Because her darling would not save him.
But time, which nature doth despise And rudely gives her love the lie, Makes hope a fool, and sorrow wise, His hands do neither wash nor dry; But being made of steel and rust, Turns snow and silk and milk to dust.
The light, the belly, lips, and breath, He dims, discolors, and destroys; With those he feeds but fills not death, Which sometimes were the food of joys.
Yea, time doth dull each lively wit, And dries all wantonness with it.
Oh, cruel time, which takes in trust Our youth, or joys, and all we have, And pays us but with age and dust; Who in the dark and silent grave When we have wandered all our ways Shuts up the story of our days.