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Famous Food Poems by Famous Poets

These are examples of famous Food poems written by some of the greatest and most-well-known modern and classical poets. PoetrySoup is a great educational poetry resource of famous food poems. These examples illustrate what a famous food poem looks like and its form, scheme, or style (where appropriate).

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by Whitman, Walt that secession war? 
Can your performance face the open fields and the seaside? 
Will it absorb into me as I absorb food, air—to appear again in my strength, gait,
Have real employments contributed to it? original makers—not mere amanuenses? 
Does it meet modern discoveries, calibers, facts face to face?
What does it mean to me? to American persons, progresses, cities? Chicago, Kanada,
 the planter, Yankee, Georgian, native, immigrant, sailors, squatter...Read more of this...

by Dickinson, Emily
...p express—
And in its narrow Eyes—

We come to look with gratitude
For the appointed Beam
It deal us—stated as our food—
And hungered for—the same—

We learn to know the Planks—
That answer to Our feet—
So miserable a sound—at first—
Nor ever now—so sweet—

As plashing in the Pools—
When Memory was a Boy—
But a Demurer Circuit—
A Geometric Joy—

The Posture of the Key
That interrupt the Day
To Our Endeavor—Not so real
The Cheek of Liberty—

As this Phan...Read more of this...

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
...rongly have built them and well; and, breaking the glebe round about them,
Filled the barn with hay, and the house with food for a twelvemonth.
Rene Leblanc will be here anon, with his papers and inkhorn.
Shall we not then be glad, and rejoice in the joy of our children?"
As apart by the window she stood, with her hand in her lover's,
Blushing Evangeline heard the words that her father had spoken,
And, as they died on his lips, the worthy notary entered.


B...Read more of this...

by Hughes, Langston
...ndentured hands and adventurous hands,
Turning the rich soil went the plow in many hands
That planted and harvested the food that fed
And the cotton that clothed America.
Clang against the trees went the ax into many hands
That hewed and shaped the rooftops of America.
Splash into the rivers and the seas went the boat-hulls
That moved and transported America.
Crack went the whips that drove the horses
Across the plains of America.
Free hands and slave hands,
I...Read more of this...

by Sexton, Anne
...ueezing out the milk. 
I am dissecting the dictionary. 
I am God, la de dah. 
Peanut butter is the American food. 
We all eat it, being patriotic. 

Ms. Dog is out fighting the dollars, 
rolling in a field of bucks. 
You've got it made if you take the wafer, 
take some wine, 
take some bucks, 
the green papery song of the office. 
What a jello she could make with it, 
the fives, the tens, the twenties, 
all in a goo to feed the baby. 
Andre...Read more of this...

by Alighieri, Dante
...fierce mouths and wide 
 Closed on the filth, and as the craving cur 
 Quietens, that strained and howled to reach his food, 
 Biting the bone, those squalid mouths subdued 
 And silenced, wont above the empty dead 
 To bark insatiate, while they tore unfed 
 The writhing shadows. 
 The straight persistent rain, 
 That altered never, had pressed the miry plain 
 With flattened shades that in their emptiness 
 Still showed as bodies. We might not here progress 
 Excep...Read more of this...

by Byron, George (Lord)
...d in mist her waning horn; 
A Serf, that rose betimes to thread the wood, 
And hew the bough that bought his children's food, 
Pass'd by the river that divides the plain 
Of Otho's lands and Lara's broad domain: 
He heard a tramp — a horse and horseman broke 
From out the wood — before him was a cloak 
Wrapt round some burthen at his saddle-bow, 
Bent was his head, and hidden was his brow. 
Roused by the sudden sight at such a time, 
And some foreboding that it might be c...Read more of this...

by Wordsworth, William
...t thy father far and wide.  I know the poisons of the shade,  I know the earth-nuts fit for food;  Then, pretty dear, be not afraid;  We'll find thy father in the wood.  Now laugh and be gay, to the woods away!  And there, my babe; we'll live for aye....Read more of this...

by Milton, John
...please to taste 
These bounties, which our Nourisher, from whom 
All perfect good, unmeasured out, descends, 
To us for food and for delight hath caused 
The earth to yield; unsavoury food perhaps 
To spiritual natures; only this I know, 
That one celestial Father gives to all. 
To whom the Angel. Therefore what he gives 
(Whose praise be ever sung) to Man in part 
Spiritual, may of purest Spirits be found 
No ingrateful food: And food alike those pure 
Intelligential...Read more of this...

by Milton, John
...d to promote. 
Yet not so strictly hath our Lord imposed 
Labour, as to debar us when we need 
Refreshment, whether food, or talk between, 
Food of the mind, or this sweet intercourse 
Of looks and smiles; for smiles from reason flow, 
To brute denied, and are of love the food; 
Love, not the lowest end of human life. 
For not to irksome toil, but to delight, 
He made us, and delight to reason joined. 
These paths and bowers doubt not but our joint hands 
Will kee...Read more of this...

by Whitman, Walt—where the stud to the
 mare—where the cock is treading the hen; 
Where the heifers browse—where geese nip their food with short jerks; 
Where sun-down shadows lengthen over the limitless and lonesome prairie; 
Where herds of buffalo make a crawling spread of the square miles far and near;
Where the humming-bird shimmers—where the neck of the long-lived swan is
 curving and winding; 
Where the laughing-gull scoots by the shore, where she laughs her near-human
 la...Read more of this...

by Chesterton, G K
From the old tribe on Usk.

The rook croaked homeward heavily,
The west was clear and warm,
The smoke of evening food and ease
Rose like a blue tree in the trees
When he came to Eldred's farm.

But Eldred's farm was fallen awry,
Like an old cripple's bones,
And Eldred's tools were red with rust,
And on his well was a green crust,
And purple thistles upward thrust,
Between the kitchen stones.

But smoke of some good feasting
Went upwards evermore,
And Eldred's d...Read more of this...

by Byron, George (Lord)
...hath a shorter way 
Such costly triumph to repay. 
But, mark me, when the twilight drum 
Hath warn'd the troops to food and sleep, 
Unto thy cell will Selim come: 
Then softly from the Haram creep 
Where we may wander by the deep: 
Our garden-battlements are steep; 
Nor these will rash intruder climb 
To list our words, or stint our time; 
And if he doth, I want not steel 
Which some have felt, and more may feel. 
Then shalt thou learn of Selim more 
Than thou hast h...Read more of this...

by Masefield, John
...eyes looking straight ahead, 
Shearing a long straight furrow red; 
His plough-foot high to give it earth 
To bring new food for men to birth. 
O wet red swathe of earth laid bare, 
O truth, O strength, O gleaming share, 
O patient eyes that watch the goal, 
O ploughman of the sinner's soul. 
O Jesus, drive the coulter deep 
To plough my living man from sleep.

Slow up the hill the plough team plod, 
Old Callow at the task of God, 
Helped by man's wit, helped by t...Read more of this...

by Bridges, Robert Seymour
...he flames of earthly love devour,
Who have taken no kiss of Nature, nor renew'd
In the world's wilderness with heavenly food
The sickly body of their perishing power. 

So none of all our company, I boast,
But now would mock my penning, could they see
How down the right it maps a jagged coast;
Seeing they hold the manlier praise to be
Strong hand and will, and the heart best when most
'Tis sober, simple, true, and fancy-free. 

How could I quarrel or blame you, mos...Read more of this...

by Scott, Sir Walter
...n vain the learning of the age
     Unclasped the sable-lettered page;
     Even in its treasures he could find
     Food for the fever of his mind.
     Eager he read whatever tells
     Of magic, cabala, and spells,
     And every dark pursuit allied
     To curious and presumptuous pride;
     Till with fired brain and nerves o'erstrung,
     And heart with mystic horrors wrung,
     Desperate he sought Benharrow's den,
     And hid him from the haunts of men.
...Read more of this...

by Blake, William
...ime for sorrow.
The hours of folly are measur'd by the clock, but of wisdom: no
clock can measure.

All wholsom food is caught without a net or a trap.
Bring out number weight & measure in a year of dearth.
No bird soars too high. if he soars with his own wings. 

A dead body. revenges not injuries.

The most sublime act is to set another before you.

If the fool would persist in his folly he would become wise
Folly is the cloke of knavery....Read more of this...

by Thomson, James
...Tam'd by the cruel Season, croud around
The winnowing Store, and claim the little Boon,
That Providence allows. The foodless Wilds
Pour forth their brown Inhabitants; the Hare,
Tho' timorous of Heart, and hard beset 
By Death, in various Forms, dark Snares, and Dogs,
And more unpitying Men, the Garden seeks,
Urg'd on by fearless Want. The bleating Kind
Eye the bleak Heavens, and next, the glistening Earth,
With Looks of dumb Despair; then sad, dispers'd,
Dig, for the ...Read more of this...

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
..., and brings the sailor home from sea,
The typist home at teatime, clears her breakfast, lights
Her stove, and lays out food in tins.
Out of the window perilously spread
Her drying combinations touched by the sun's last rays,
On the divan are piled (at night her bed)
Stockings, slippers, camisoles, and stays.
I Tiresias, old man with wrinkled dugs
Perceived the scene, and foretold the rest -
I too awaited the expected guest. 
He, the young man carbuncular, arrives...Read more of this...

by Miller, Alice Duer
...the dead. 

Nanny brought up my son, as his father before him, 
Austere on questions of habits, manners, and food. 
Nobly yielding a mother's right to adore him, 
Thinking that mothers never did sons much good. 
A Scot from Lady Jean's own native passes, 
With a head as smooth and round as a silver bowl, 
A crooked nose, and eyes behind her glasses 
Grey and bright and wise—a great soul ! 
Ready to lay down her life for her charge, and ready 
To administer ...Read more of this...

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Book: Reflection on the Important Things