Food is important in my life—and my husband’s. Both Mike and I enjoy cooking. Everything we make is from scratch. Some of Mike’s specialties are homemade pasta and pizza, soup, salsa, stuffed squid, blueberry pancakes, and eggplant lasagna. Sometimes, preparing food puts me in a Zen-like mood. I often find it relaxing.
So much of our lives revolves around cooking and eating. We get together with friends for dinner. We celebrate holidays with family and traditional foods. Making and eating food involves our senses of taste and smell and touch and hearing. Sometimes the eating and preparing food may reawaken thoughts of the past—as it does in the following poem by Mark Strand. I first read the poem in 2001 in Americans’ Favorite Poems: The Favorite Poem Project Anthology, the book that was given to all of us educators who participated in the First Summer Poetry Institute for Teachers at Boston University.
The woman who submitted Pot Roast to the project as her favorite poem wrote: "Eating is something we all do. Sometimes the experience can be totally gratifying. Most of the time we barely remember doing it. This poem reminds me how powerful and evocative this daily ritual can be."
Pot Roast is one of my favorite poems too.
By Mark Strand
I gaze upon the roast,
that is sliced and laid out
on my plateand over it
I spoon the juices
of carrot and onion.
And for once I do not regret
The passage of time.
I sit by a window
on the soot-stained brick of buildings
and do not care that I see
no living thing—not a bird,
not a branch in bloom,
not a soul movingin the rooms
behind the dark panes.
These days when there is little
to love or to praise
one could do worsethan yield
to the power of food.
You can read the rest of the poem here.
Here’s a link to the website of The Favorite Poem Project.
The Poetry Friday Roundup is at Mommy’s Favorite Children’s Books.