Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Delicious Thrill of Writing About Food

My poetry partner Magdalena Ball and I are working on a chapbook of food- inspired poems for our Celebration Series (see the whole series at http://howtodoitfrugally.com/poetry_books.htm). So when this guest post came to me it just felt right.  Maybe it would inspire something foody for other writers, too! (-:


The Delicious Thrill of Writing About Food
 
By Jessica Grammett


Writing about food can satiate your desires in more ways than one. The following list will explain to you why being a food critic or even writing poetry about food can open your mind and senses.

1) Food for Thought
Food makes one think. How is it to be prepared? How does it taste? Will adding something to it make the flavor change? Questions like these are what makes us good cooks or food writers. If we describe the food a certain way, will it enticed people to try it? Food evokes memories in ways that one cannot explain. Just look at Camus and his Madeline- it inspired an entire philosophical way of thinking.

2) It Feeds All of Your Senses
Many early poets explored their talent by describing food and they way it tastes. Food not only feeds you, but your soul as well. It nourishes you much like a good book can. This is why writing and food can go hand and hand to accomplish feelings that not many things can. It will awaken your soul if you learn to write and describe food like the ancients such as Ovid.

3) Ever Hear of the Food of Love?
Look to many love poems and you will see allusions to food everywhere: lips red as as berries, hair gold like wheat. These comparisons make a lover almost god-like in that they their looks come from natural occurring things such as food. What does that say to you? If food was not used to describe a person, would that make them less beautiful? Think about it: hair like a cow's hide, lip red as blood. It does not exactly paint the same picture. Food is something that everyone can relate to, and the poets took advantage of that in order to paint with their words.

4) Food as an Allegory or in Symbolism
Food has long been used in symbolism or in allegory. Just look at the Catholic doctrine for example, the bread and wine literally become the body of Christ. However, there are other examples too. In ancient Greece and Rome, the apple was a symbol for wisdom and the pomegranate for fertility. One has to wonder why food has become symbolic for man. Is it because we can consume it? Is it that it nourishes us? Regardless, this symbolism has seeped into our literature from thousands of years before Christ to our modern ages.

As you can see, there are many great reasons why food is so thrilling to write about. If you look at it from a scholarly point of view, the symbolism alone could be explained for pages. However, even the description of a well prepared dish can make one salivate for it. It is all in learning to make poetry from the food. The rest will come.

Jessica Grammett writes about cooking, blogging & more at http://backgroundcheck.org.


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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor . If your followers at Twitter would benefit from this blog post, please use the little Green widget to let them know about this blog:

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