During the last month or two, I’ve been playing around with some poetry forms in my notebook. Sometimes I find that I enjoy staying within the framework of a structure. I liked the idea of odes, and I thought it might be fun to write one about some relatively mundane subject. Oatmeal came to mind.
It occurred to me as I began to write this post to share my ode, that someone else might have written about oatmeal. Why not do a quick search? I did and, much to my delight, discovered “Oatmeal” by Galway Kinnell:
I eat oatmeal for breakfast.
I make it on the hot plate and put skimmed milk on it.
I eat it alone.
I am aware it is not good to eat oatmeal alone.
Its consistency is such that is better for your mental health
if somebody eats it with you.
That is why I often think up an imaginary companion to have
Possibly it is even worse to eat oatmeal with an imaginary
Nevertheless, yesterday morning, I ate my oatmeal porridge,
as he called it with John Keats.
Keats said I was absolutely right to invite him:
due to its glutinous texture, gluey lumpishness, hint of slime,
and unusual willingness to disintegrate, oatmeal should
not be eaten alone.
(click here to read the entire poem–it’s worth it! I promise!)
If you’d like, you can listen to Galway Kinnell read his poem aloud:
The downside of discovering Kinnell’s poem is that I am now less inclined to share my own. It feels a lot more pedestrian, and it’s definitely geared toward a younger crowd. But, hey, it’s my little love song to oatmeal, so I’m going to post it anyway and just keep reminding myself, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” (T. Roosevelt)
Oatmeal, oh oatmeal
most trustworthy food
warming my belly
sweetening my mood
You nimbly transform
with each addition
packed with nutrition
With you by my side
each day starts off right
Oh, fairest of grains
my breakfast delight
©Molly Hogan, 2019
Stop on by Tricia Stohr-Hunt’s blog, The Miss Rumphius Effect, to check out this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup. She’s sharing a wonderful triolet, inspired by a challenge, some self-reflection and a bit of family and national history.