Poems About Food

Poems About Food

When you think of poetry, you might initially think: romance. But poetry has been used throughout history to express all kinds of emotions — from joy, love, and lust, to sadness, rage, and even humor. Since many of our most personal life experiences involve food — first dates, birthdays, family dinners, weddings, funerals — it’s no surprise that there are a ton of poems about food.

Here are just a few of our favorite poems about the small indulgences, guilty pleasures, peculiar habits, and odd fantasies that go along with our favorite topic — food.

Meditation on a Grapefruit
by Craig Arnold

To wake when all is possible
before the agitations of the day
have gripped you

To come to the kitchen
and peel a little basketball
for breakfast
read full poem »


I allow myself
by Dorthea Grossman

I allow myself
the luxury of breakfast
(I am no nun, for Christ’s sake)
read full poem »


Ode to the Midwest
by Kevin Young

I want to be doused
in cheese

& fried. I want
to wander

the aisles, my heart's
supermarket stocked high

as cholesterol. I want to die
wearing a sweatsuit
read full poem »


The Tummy Beast
by Roald Dahl

One afternoon I said to mummy,
“Who is this person in my tummy?
“Who must be small and very thin
“Or how could he have gotten in?”
My mother said from where she sat,
“It isn’t nice to talk like that.”
“It’s true!” I cried. “I swear it, mummy!
“There is a person in my tummy!"
read full poem »


by Roisin Kelly

I’ll choose for myself next time
who I’ll reach out and take
as mine, in the way
I might stand at a fruit stall

having decided
to ignore the apples
the mangoes and the kiwis
but hold my hands above

a pile of oranges
as if to warm my skin
before a fire.
read full poem »


by Andrea Cohen

I’ve never seen the land
of milk and honey, but at

the Iowa State Fair I glimpsed
a cow fashioned of butter.
read full poem »


Women Whose Lives are Food, Men Whose Lives are Money
by Joyce Carol Oates

Mid-morning Monday she is staring
peaceful as the rain in that shallow back yard
she wears flannel bedroom slippers
she is sipping coffee
she is thinking — gazing at the weedy bumpy yard
read full poem »


Italian Food
by Shel Silverstein

Oh, how I love Italian food.
I eat it all the time,
Not just ‘cause how good it tastes
But ‘cause how good it rhymes.
read full poem »


‘No Thank You, I Don’t Care For Artichokes’
by Sandra M. Gilbert

decreed my mother-in-law as my husband
passed the platter of inward-turning
soft-skulled Martian baby
heads around the table,

and they were O so shyly slyly
jostling each other with their boiled-
green sardonic gossip
(what was the news they told?)

when he sharply answered, “Mother,
have you
eaten an artichoke?”
read full poem »