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>Gastronomy

November 23, 2010

>Looking for a Thanksgiving poem to leave you with for the rest of the week, I found one that wasn’t exactly what I had in mind–not a poem about harvest or gratitude, but about eating. And the more I looked at this poem, “Gastronomy” by Todd Davis, the more I liked it:

A glacial erratic sits unmoved by the garden, purple and white
cosmos lifting up what’s left of September’s skirt. Like a bit
of pesto on the lip’s rim, this boulder was forgotten when ice
pulled its tongue back inside the world’s mouth.

How long does it take to digest a planet? How much wine
is in the oceans that circle us? My sons ask where the broccoli
and tomatoes, the melons and pumpkins disappear
when we throw them back upon themselves.

In the dim sun of a cold wet month, we turn soil, spread ash
from our little fires, cover the bed with leaves. New stones
swim slowly to the surface as everything becomes everything else.
In the dark, all that’s left is to eat each other and savor our goodness.

As an omnivore, I enjoy the last line. As a fan of puns, I love the suggestion of “dim sum” in the “dim sun” phrase, so apt for a day like today–this morning I saw a flurry of red leaves whirl in a wind off of our ornamental pear tree in the front yard, with an almost black storm cloud behind it. And then, of course, there’s the “wine dark sea” allusion from The Odyssey.

After all, it’s really not Thanksgiving until you’ve had dinner, is it?

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. November 23, 2010 4:44 pm

    >I like this poem more than I like Thanksgiving.

  2. November 23, 2010 5:25 pm

    >Loved the poem.The menu has been prepared, the grocery shopping done, the wine (American, of course) carefully selected. Only the cooking and feasting remain. We will be sharing the day with some people we love but missing others (you know who you are).Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. November 23, 2010 6:12 pm

    >Nope.

  4. November 24, 2010 12:39 am

    >This was an interesting poem with such vivid images … I like the whole "lifting up of September's skirt" line. Now I'll have something to think about during the big "feast."

  5. November 24, 2010 2:00 pm

    >FreshHell, You have an excellent eat and run plan. I used to always be sad when I couldn't see any extended family at Thanksgiving, but this year I'm okay with staying home, just the four of us. Because next year that might be harder to accomplish if Eleanor is away at college.PAJ, you are so ahead of the game! We have a bottle of Roederer Estate and will raise a glass to absent loved ones.ReadersGuide, glad you agree (!)Jenners, yes, and I do love food imagery, like the "pesto on the lip"

  6. November 24, 2010 8:12 pm

    >PAJ, also–I just made your mother's pumpkin pie recipe.

  7. November 24, 2010 8:13 pm

    >Still deep in the planning/prep here in Virginia. For the first time in recorded history, I have both my adult sons and their wives and the two grandchildren together for no other reason than the holiday. I'm pretty stoked about that.

  8. November 24, 2010 8:40 pm

    >Elizabeth, I'm only just beginning to appreciate having both my kids under the same roof for a holiday, so I can begin to imagine how satisfying that is for you!

  9. November 25, 2010 1:53 pm

    >That's a beautiful poem! Thanks for sharing it with us.Have a great Thanksgiving!

  10. November 29, 2010 2:02 am

    >Marie, I did, thanks–hope you did too!

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