Oatmeal

74707-poetry-friday-logoDuring 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
breakfast with.
Possibly it is even worse to eat oatmeal with an imaginary
companion.
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

Oatmeal, oh oatmeal
most trustworthy food
warming my belly
sweetening my mood

You nimbly transform
with each addition
breakfast chameleon
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.

30 thoughts on “Oatmeal

  1. Tabatha says:

    Such fun poems, both of them! I think I’m going to have some oatmeal now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. lindabaie says:

    Oh, that Galway Kinnell delights in so many ways: “An entire stanza may have slipped into the lining of his jacket
    through a hole in his pocket.” Ha! I posted a bowl of oatmeal on FB once & want to tell you that many, many responded. I guess they all would write the ode if they could, Molly. I love the rhythm/song of your poem, especially “sweetening my mood”, often needed on a cold, snowy day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed Kinnell’s poem, Linda. I certainly did! You’re right–Oatmeal is especially welcome on cold, snowy mornings. If I’m running late, I’ve been known to eat mine on the drive to school rather than miss out on it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. cweichel says:

    Wow to both of these. I think you have nailed the difference in that Galway Kinnell’s poem is for older readers, while yours is sure to delight the younger crowd.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you to your homage to our daily breakfast food of choice – oatmeal. Oatmeal with blueberries, raisins, almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, protein isolate powder, sesame seeds. Breakfast of champions. Add anything to your oatmellian delight?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for the reminder about the pitfalls of comparison, Molly. My favorite bit is “breakfast chameleon” and I left your bowl of delight wondering how you ask your oatmeal to transform…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. cvarsalona says:

    Molly, the Galway poem is quite humorous but that is a separate poem from your ode that I enjoyed reading. Oatmeal is one of my favorite breakfast delights and you captured it – breakfast chameleon.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. haitiruth says:

    I like both of them, and I think that oatmeal is a very worthy subject for poetry! Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Kay Jernigan McGriff says:

    You were right–it was worth reading the Galway Kinney poem. I also enjoyed yours. Now I want oatmeal for breakfast!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Linda Mitchell says:

    LOL! I never saw that Galway Kinnell poem about oatmeal before. I chuckled all the way through…I think an imaginary companion for breakfast is a swell idea. Although the poets I invite tomorrow morning will be female…and we will share oatmeal muffins. LOL! And, fun ode. I have trouble writing them…somehow, there’s a pressure there to do something justice that knocks me off kilter. Breakfast chameleon is so true! I like oatmeal with cubed apple, cinnamon & walnuts. Thanks for the great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Molly, I love your ode to oatmeal, that delicious “breakfast chameleon!” I like my oatmeal with craisins and a little brown sugar. And the Galway Kinnell poem is wonderful, especially the conversation with Keats about Ode to a Nightingale. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Love your entire post Molly, I’m still smiling from hearing Galway Kinnell’s poem. And your poem is so sweet, all by itself. BTW I wrote and posted an “Oatmeal” poem a few years ago, here’s the link to it:
    https://moreart4all.wordpress.com/2017/08/31/poetry-friday-oatmeal-for-all/

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Thanks, Michelle. I’m so glad you included the link to your poem. I especially love the lines:
      “the 12-15 minute oatmeal,
      the pool of history
      oatmeal that
      stirs up
      memories
      emotions,”

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Molly, I’m all for pedestrian! I love your ode!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. carwilc says:

    Like Kimberly, I think I prefer the pedestrian. I love oatmeal and I love your oatmeal poem. I love the idea of oatmeal as a “breakfast chameleon.” Perfect! I shall think of your ode to oatmeal when I eat breakfast tomorrow!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. margaretsmn says:

    Such poetic entertainment with my morning coffee. I’d like to invite you to sit with me. We can share a bit over oatmeal. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. maryleehahn says:

    Good to know I never have to worry about eating a meal alone…I’ll just have to decide who to invite as my dining companion! Now…off to fix some oatmeal!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Your ode to oatmeal does NOT disappoint, Molly. Quite the contrary. I’m happy this is Sunday morning and I haven’t eaten breakfast yet and I still have the chance to make some. In fact I think I will make it for the whole family! There will be time enough for imaginary companions later in the week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      I just finished cooking up a pot to eat for breakfast for the week 🙂 I actually prefer steel cut oats, but went with old fashioned today, with chunks of fresh peach, cinnamon and some chia seeds. Yum! I was so happy eating it that I forgot to imagine my companion!

      Like

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