eggs in a cool place

This is another post in Poets United’s Poetry Pantry. Go to their site to read more.

eggs in a cool place

A stale egg rises in water
fresh eggs are heavy
and sink to the bottom
farewell I gladly bid thee

Eggs should be well covered
and kept in a cool place
wash eggs just before using
thy life is vain and sinful

Eggs should never be boiled
as that renders them tough
they should be cooked
just under the boiling point
I long to be in heaven

In the early spring or fall
when eggs are plentiful at at their best,
pack them away for future use
where they will be rewarded.

1-4-18 (c) Nissa Annakindt

This is an example of found poetry inspired by a poetry book I have just purchased, ‘Mornings Like This’ by Annie Dillard.
My main source was an old cookbook of mine, ‘The Settlement Cook Book’ by Mrs Simon Kander, 1947 edition. The last line in each stanza was from a hymn, Farewell I Gladly Give Thee, (Valet will ich dir geben) written by Valerius Herberger, 1613, translated by Catherine Winkworth, 1863.

Since this is a very newly written poem, some things are uncertain. I don’t really know what I am going to do about capitalizations and punctuations, for example. I don’t really know whether this poem is more than temporary amusement for me. I like to let a poem ‘cook’ for a while before I make final revisions. A lot of hard work ahead, like putting a comma in and then later taking it out. 😉

Buying Poetry Books:

I believe every poet would do well to buy books by other poets— or poetry magazines or anthologies— on a regular basis. We learn more from each poem we write. I bought the Annie Dillard book ‘Mornings Like This’ because it is found poetry, and because I am working on a major poetic project based on found poetry. I didn’t expect much and was quite pleased I was more inspired by it than I ever thought possible.

Future blog post project

I am planning a future blog post with a title ‘How to teach students to hate poetry.’ My contention is that school poetry lessons in most schools do a lot to make students hate poetry, rather than like it or read it. Since I suspect today’s blog post may be visited by a number of poets and poetry lovers, I would welcome your opinions on the teaching of poetry.


8 thoughts on “eggs in a cool place

  1. Eggs. we Chinese boil them with tea leaves & dark soya sauce and it is heavenly. we also have salted eggs and ‘century’ eggs. 🙂

    i like how you construct your found poetry. i am not really a fan of found poetry, i have tried some, and i find my work rather bland. maybe i really need to read the Annie Dillard book.

    i remembered in school during literature classes, everyone would groan when it was time for poetry lessons. but i remembered a teacher who wanted us to explain the meanings of song lyrics, instead of just reading from the books, that got me hooked. i think we learn things when we can relate to them. instead of just memorizing the poem, add in a little background on the poet. i am sure most of the great poets have very interesting lives.

  2. What an interesting post. I love the combination of found lines and the last line of each stanza being from a hymn….very cool…….love the topic………and your comments after. In school, because I began writing poetry at fourteen, my heart took flight reading the poems we studied. But most of my classmates groaned at the very thought. I think if students could be encouraged or inspired to write a poem or two of their own, they might look at poetry in a whole new way. Maybe teachers should begin this when children are still quite young, seven, eight or nine. At least children should be read poems when young, so they are exposed to poetry. And classical music, for that matter.

  3. Wow. You created something unique from the words of others. There is talent in that.
    Wish I had suggestions on how to help students discover poetry. I was not impressed when it was presented to me in school. I discovered it sort of by accident of fate. But perhaps teachers could introduce poetry that is timely and more relevant to student’s lives. I grew up in the inner city. Poetry written long ago in England made it a difficult read.

  4. I think this is one of the most interesting found poems I ever read. I think you have just inspired me to look for some more found poems myself.

    I completely agree about the way poetry is taught in schools. Australian poet Judith Wright, arguably our greatest poet, forbade her poetry to be taught in schools for just that reason. It’s a wonder any of us survive to become poets! And it’s not much wonder that so few survive to become poetry readers.

  5. Thanks for the kind words. I have added that ‘Chiaroscuro’ to my list of books I want on Amazon, since I just bought 3 poetry books and have to buy 2 more from some of my writing friends, which more than wipes me out for the month. I believe in reading poetry to kids from an early age, I had books with poetry in them before I started school.

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