We all love to eat yummy foods, and there are many wonderful food poems for us to “consume.” But straightforward food poems aren’t on the menu this week. Instead, let’s write about a whole dinner party. Imagine that you’re the host or hostess. Who would you invite? What would you serve? What would the diner table conversation include? Have fun with this. Be a little outré or surreal if you wish, or work toward a more serious “message.” Remember that any food poem, like a love poem, can be rich, satisfying, and representative of human experience.
1. Consider writing a poem about a dinner party for famous poets. Imagine dining with T. S. Eliot, Shakespeare, and Emily Dickinson.
2. Write your “feast” poem in the form of a menu. Below are some ideas for a literary feast.
Mac(Beth) and Cheese
Chicken Sandwiches on Catcher in the Rye Bread
Tale of Two Zities
Of Rice and Men Casserole
Salem’s (Lot) Pot Roast
Leaves of Grass(fed) Beef
Lord of the Fries Potatoes
Edgar Alan Poe-tato Salad
Romeo and Julienned Veggies
The Sundae Also Rises
Huckleberry Gin and Tonic
The Old Man and the Seagram’s
A Pitcher of Dorian Grey Goose
3. Write your poem from the perspective of a guest at your dinner party.
4. Write a two-part or two-stanza poem from the viewpoints of two guests at your dinner party (famous poets, contemporary celebrities, historical people, sportspeople, military personnel).
5. Write your poem from the point of view of a food item on your table.
6. Write a poem about a dinner party at which no food is served. What extended metaphor can you develop?
7. Write a poem about a dinner party at which something other than food is served.
8. Don't forget to choose a specific meal for your dinner party: breakfast, lunch, high tea, dinner.
1. Don’t be afraid to be humorous, but keep in mind that a serious tone will work well for this prompt.
2. Use images that appeal especially to the senses of sight, smell, and taste.
3. Invite your readers into your poem (and into the dinner party) with imagery and figures of speech that capture their interest and imaginations. You need a great first line or “hook.”
4. Think in terms of making your poem representative of human experience. The dinner party may be your subject, but there should be a deeper meaning between the “courses.”