What is Poetry? By Lawrence Ferlinghetti

I just realized that today is World Poetry Day! So in desperation I searched for something to post and I dug up this gem from a few years ago: my friend and colleague reading “What Is Poetry” by Lawrence Ferlinghetti.   Her husband is on bongos. I’ve posted it before but it’s worth a re-post. It makes me smile when I hear it. 🙂

You can  learn more about Lawrence Ferlinghetti here.

Eating Raspberries on a Summer Day – a sonnet

I hide in your branches
In my reverie.
Around me the sun blankets
As I eat your raspberries.

In my mind I cleverly
Dream up stories.
I am enjoying this revelry.
I have no worries.

Then it’s five-thirty;
Time for supper.
And in a flurry
I rush to my mother.

Oh the joys of afternoon
During the carefree days of June.


The last assignment for Poetry 201 was to write a sonnet about pleasure using the poetic device, apostrophe. This is based on a childhood memory I have of eating raspberries by myself in the garden in the summer.

I have really enjoyed this class and I am going to miss it! It has been a very fun challenge to come up with a new poem everyday. I loved that we were confined to certain forms and subjects – it was challenging but it also somehow sparked my creativity more than when I have the whole world open to me. I’ve also really enjoyed reading the poetry of my fellow bloggers. There are some very talented writers out there in WordPress Land!

An elegy for tomato aspic

The first step is to wait until Thanksgiving.
Then you dig out the ingredients.
You have most of them in your pantry.
You bought them last year when you made this.
That extra box of Jello, first off.
Then the can of V-8.
Then that shrimp, those really tiny ones.
Grab the can of olives, too.
Chop up some onion (this you bought fresh)
Throw it in the bowl
And mix it all together with some h2o.
The next step is to
Dig out your jello mold
The one with the Christmas tree on it.
Pour the mixture in and let it sit overnight.
In the morning you will have tomato aspic.
But not just any tomato aspic.
This gelatinous feast
This is your Granny Mary’s tomato aspic.


Today’s Poetry 201 assignment is an elegy about flavor using enumeratio. I instantly thought of my Granny Mary’s tomato aspic that my brother insists we make every year for Thanksgiving in her honor. It is, honestly, a pretty horrifying dish. But it reminds us of our dear grandmother, who was a beautiful soul, but not a very good cook.