Monday, July 06, 2009

Monday Poetry Stretch - Recipe Poem

Lately I've been spending my evenings outside with a few trusty companions--my son, our dog, a notebook, my new fountain pen, and the book A Crow Doesn't Need a Shadow: A Guide to Writing Poetry From Nature. In the section Creating a Landscape, Lorraine Ferra shares a recipe poem and guides readers through the process of writing their own. Here's an excerpt.
Look through a cookbook. As you read the directions for several different recipes, write down the verbs which tell you what to do with the ingredients. Make a list of about ten or twelve different verbs. Keep in mind that you probably won't use all the verbs you find. Be selective for your poem.

Some possible subjects might be a recipe for a cave, foggy morning, a bird refuge, a season or particular month, a moonlit field, a river, or a sunset. Once you decide on your subject, start listing some ingredients.
Elaine from Wild Rose Reader is a master at recipe poems. Here are the directions she shares for writing them.

Directions for Writing Recipe and How to Make… Poems

  • Write each direction in a separate sentence.
  • Begin each sentence with a carefully selected verb.
  • Try to use a different verb in each sentence.
You can read more at her post Recipe & How to Make ... Poems, Part II. This, of course, means there is also a post entitled Recipe & How to Make ... Poems, Part I.

So, there's your challenge for the week. Write a poem in the form of a recipe. Leave me a note about your poem and I'll post the results here later this week.


  1. Tricia,

    Here's a recipe poem I posted at Wild Rose Reader some time ago:

    How to Make a Morning

    Melt a galaxy of stars
    in a large blue bowl.
    Knead the golden sun
    and let it rise in the east.
    Spread the horizon
    with a layer of lemony light.
    Blend together
    until brimming with brightness.
    Fold in dewdrops.
    Sprinkle with songbirds.
    Garnish with a chorus
    of cock-a-doodle-doos.
    Set out on a platter at dawn
    and enjoy.

    (I changed just one word in the poem. Sky became horizon in this updated version.)

  2. Here's one from a while ago that was kind of fun: Starfish Chili

  3. Oh, Elaine, that is gee-or-geous! Melt a galaxy of stars...who could stop reading there!

  4. Recipe for a Waterfall
    (Best served outdoors on a hot day)

    Pour water into riverbed—
    Don’t measure, don’t level—
    Drop in boulders
    Mix until frothy
    Scrape sides of banks clean
    Add one cliff
    Toss in gravity
    Stretch sheets of liquid glass into bottomless bowl below
    Sprinkle hawks overhead
    Season with summer sun
    Splash with a dash of wonder
    Combine with mist
    Let sit until you’ve had your fill or until evening's chill cools dish

    Thanks, Tricia! I was trying to decide what to do for my daily poem today.

    I'm going to have to go read some recipes to find some more good verbs!

  5. I gave it a try.
    go to
    to see how to make a quiet place.

  6. Hmmmm...not sure how I'll feel about this tomorrow, kind of silly and (to keep with the theme) undercooked. But here is one from the recent 4th-of-July spent with my grandson:

    How to Make a 2-Year-Old

    Start with Heart for the first year,
    plenty of it. Add Head tad by tad
    (plus a couple of toddles,
    don’t go for name brands
    like Mozart or Einstein –
    a few lumpy smooches
    and multiple grins and waddles
    are fine.) To leaven, add tickles
    (often) until you’re fairly addled
    and softened, and the baby
    is thoroughly moistened.
    Allow to double in size.
    Do not punch down
    or allow to curdle. Keep warm
    and dry in pj’s with penguins.
    Serve with a sibling or two (or more.)
    Share the results w/ all of your neighbors.

  7. I love these! I wrote one about my beloved and failing father-in-law, but it turned sad. So I won't share but trust me that I gave it a go.

  8. I finally managed to do a poetry stretch on time! Here's my "Recipe for a Mountain Stream":

    Recipe For a Mountain Stream
    by Kelly R. Fineman

    Carve a pathway down the mountain.
    Line the streambed full of rocks.
    Julienne tree roots and branches
    if they keep you from your course.

    Melt the snowcaps on the hilltops.
    Whisk along where rapids roil.
    Moisten every single pebble,
    speck of gravel, mote of soil.

  9. I love this Poetry Stretch page and hope to join in the fun. Here's one from me...

    Recipe for Beach Biscuits
    By Hannah Ruth Wilde

    Round out
    a large bowl by the water's edge.
    Add two pails of all-purpose sand,
    one yellow shovel of ocean-tumbled pebbles
    and one-half red shovel of ground shells.
    Carve a spout from the sea.
    Allow milky waves to mingle.

    Stir for hours.

    When mixture resembles a churned tide pool, scoop a handful from the bottom,
    knead thoroughly,
    and pat into beach biscuits.
    Sprinkle with sifted sand.
    in the sun's slanted rays.

    *For spice, add a pinch of crab..