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My Mother Gives Me Her Recipe
Posted by: Talia (216.117.99.---)
Date: October 20, 2003 11:53AM

I love this poem....it is like a snapshot of an entire culture. Does anyone hav any similar styles to share?


Poem: "My mother gives me her recipe," by Marge Piercy.

My mother gives me her recipe

Take some flour. Oh, I don't know,
like two-three cups, and you cut
in the butter. Now some women
they make it with shortening,
but I say butter, even though
that means you had to have fish, see?

You cut up some apples. Not those
stupid sweet ones. Apples for the cake,
they have to have some bite, you know?
A little sour in the sweet, like love.
You slice them into little moons.
No, no! Like half or crescent
moons. You aren't listening.

You mix sugar and cinnamon and cloves,
some women use allspice, till it's dark
and you stir in the apples. You coat
every little moon. Did I say you add
milk? Oh, just till it feels right.
Use your hands. Milk in the cake part!

Then you pat it into a pan, I like
round ones, but who cares?
I forgot to say you add baking powder.
Did I forget a little lemon on the apples?
Then you just bake it. Well, till it's done
of course. Did I remember you place
the apples in rows? You can make
a pattern, like a weave. It's pretty
that way. I like things pretty.

It's just a simple cake.
Any fool can make it
except your aunt. I
gave her the recipe
but she never
got it right.


Re: My Mother Gives Me Her Recipe
Posted by: StephenFryer (---.tcl22.dsl.pol.co.uk)
Date: October 20, 2003 01:29PM

If you like this kind of poetry (and I do, too) then have a look from time to time at Garrison Keillor's site: he often chooses such stuff:

[www.writersalmanac.org] />

Stephen


Re: My Mother Gives Me Her Recipe
Posted by: Talia (216.117.99.---)
Date: October 20, 2003 02:47PM

Stephen,

You silly goose! I got this poem off of the Writer's Almanac this morning! I get it emailed to me everyday.


Re: My Mother Gives Me Her Recipe
Posted by: -Les- (---.trlck.ca.charter.com)
Date: October 20, 2003 02:59PM

Talia, perhaps Stephen was speaking to the rest of us.


Les


Re: My Mother Gives Me Her Recipe
Posted by: Pam Adams (134.71.192.---)
Date: October 20, 2003 04:05PM

I saw Keillor at a reading the other day for his latest novel. He started out by reciting poems. (love that voice!)

pam


Re: My Mother Gives Me Her Recipe
Posted by: Marian-NYC (---.nyc1.dsl.speakeasy.net)
Date: October 21, 2003 11:21AM

Similar in the sense of using "slice of real life" language in or as poetry, but not necessarily similar in other ways:


"The Naming of Parts" by Henry Reed

"The Death of the Hired Man" by Robert Frost

"next to of course god america I" by e e cummings


marge - homepage
Posted by: ilza (200.162.245.---)
Date: October 21, 2003 03:03PM

for those who do not know ...
.
[archer-books.com]


Listening to her Practice
Posted by: Talia (216.117.98.---)
Date: October 24, 2003 11:42AM

Poem: "Listening to Her Practice: My Middle Daughter, on the Edge of Adolescence, Learns to Play the Saxophone," by Barbara Crooker, from Ordinary Life (ByLine Press).

Listening to Her Practice: My Middle Daughter, on the Edge of Adolescence, Learns to Play the Saxophone

Her hair, that halo of red gold curls,
has thickened, coarsened,
lost its baby fineness,
and the sweet smell of childhood
that clung to her clothes
has just about vanished.
Now she's getting moody,
moaning about her hair,
clothes that aren't the right brands,
boys that tease.
She clicks over the saxophone keys
with gritty fingernails polished in pink pearl,
grass stains on the knees
of her sister's old designer jeans.
She's gone from sounding like the smoke detector
through Old MacDonald and Jingle Bells.
Soon she'll master these keys,
turn notes into liquid gold,
wail that reedy brass.
Soon, she'll be a woman.
She's gonna learn to play the blues.


Re: My Mother Gives Me Her Recipe
Posted by: lg (Moderator)
Date: May 14, 2006 01:51PM

A poem for the season.

Les


Re: My Mother Gives Me Her Recipe
Posted by: PamAdams (192.168.128.---)
Date: May 15, 2006 09:33PM

How about Naomi Shihab Nye?

pam

Sewing, Knitting, Crocheting...


A small striped sleeve in her lap,
navy and white,
needles carefully whipping in yarn
from two sides.
She reminds me of the wide-angled women
filled with calm
I pretended I was related to
in crowds.

In the next seat
a yellow burst of wool
grows into a hat with a tassel.
She looks young to crochet.
I'm glad history isn't totally lost.
Her silver hook dips gracefuly.

And when's the last time you saw
anyone sew a pocket onto a gray linen shirt
in public?
Her stitches must be invisible.
A bevelled thimble glitters in the light.

On Mother's Day
three women who aren't together
conduct delicate operations
in adjoining seats
between La Guardia and Dallas.
Miraculously, they never speak.
Three different kinds of needles,
three snippy scissors,
everybody else on the plane
snoozing with The Times.
When the flight attendant
offers free wine to celebrate,
you'd think they'd sit back,
chat a minute,
tell who they're making it for,
trade patterns,
yes?

But a grave separateness
has invaded the world.
They sip with eyes shut
and never say
Amazing
or
Look at us
or
May your thread
never break.



Re: My Mother Gives Me Her Recipe
Posted by: Talia (192.168.128.---)
Date: May 17, 2006 08:52AM

I love that one, Pam!

And when's the last time you saw
anyone sew a pocket onto a gray linen shirt
in public?


Re: My Mother Gives Me Her Recipe
Posted by: PamAdams (192.168.128.---)
Date: May 17, 2006 01:15PM

Here's another.

pam

So Much Happiness
by Naomi Shihab Nye

It is difficult to know what to do with so much happiness.
With sadness there is something to rub against,
A wound to tend with lotion and cloth.
When the world falls in around you, you have pieces to pick up,
Something to hold in your hands, like ticket stubs or change.

But happiness floats.
It doesn’t need you to hold it down.
It doesn’t need anything.
Happiness lands on the roof of the next house, singing,
And disappears when it wants to.
You are happy either way.
Even the fact that you once lived in a peaceful tree house
And now live over a quarry of noise and dust
Cannot make you unhappy.
Everything has a life of its own,
It too could wake up filled with possibilities
Of coffee cake and ripe peaches,
And love even the floor which needs to be swept,
The soiled linens and scratched records….

Since there is no place large enough
To contain so much happiness,
You shrug, you raise your hands, and it flows out of you
Into everything you touch. You are not responsible.
You take no credit, as the night sky takes no credit
For the moon, but continues to hold it, and to share it,
And in that way, be known.


Re: My Mother Gives Me Her Recipe
Posted by: PamAdams (192.168.128.---)
Date: May 17, 2006 01:16PM

It's just a simple cake.
Any fool can make it
except your aunt. I
gave her the recipe
but she never
got it right.

The family relationships that show up in that verse- wonder if the 'aunt' is Mom's older or younger sister, or perhaps an in-law.

pam




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