Poetry Friday: A Poem
May 05, 2006
Author's note: In honor of Poetry Friday, here is a prose poem I wrote some years back.
Take trip to Ireland. Read Edna O'Brien. Drink lots of tea. Return home. Think of nothing but tea. Make tea with tea bags. Terrible. Not it. Unable to read Edna O'Brien. Lunch with friend who spent year in Australia drinking tea. Friend says bought teapot after similar tea experience. Friend also recommends English Breakfast. Resolve to purchase teapot. Find two-cup teapot for eight dollars. Bargain. Realize loose tea is key. Milk and sugar cubes, too. Buy loose tea in tin at fancy deli. Have never in life made tea without tea bags. Have never made much tea, period. Cast yearning glance at unresponsive Mr. Coffee. Panic. Australian adventurer unavailable for counsel. Remember not knowing how to bake potatoes. Who knew? Fannie knew. Consult Fannie Farmer Cookbook on tea. Fannie knows. Fannie tells. Love Fannie. Boil fresh water. Warm teapot with boiling water. Pour out. Add big spoon of tea, more water. Strategy involved but do okay. Let pot, tea leaves, water sit. Five minutes later—tea. Breathe sigh of relief. Read Edna O'Brien.
by Susan Thomsen
published in Tea: A Magazine (the only poem I've ever had published!)
Poetry Friday carries on; the posting-poem idea was started (and is continued) by Big A little a. For more peoms and peotry, see also Blog from the Windowsill; A Chair, A Fireplace and a Tea Cozy; Farm School; A Fuse #8 Production; Here in the Bonny Glen; Scholar's Blog; and The Simple and the Ordinary.
When I was reading _Tender at the Bone_, I was thinking, "boy, I love this book, but the author would really despise me, because I use the Fannie Farmer cookbook." Then I got to the chapter where she makes friends with the current FF editor. I was stoked. :-)
Posted by: web | May 05, 2006 at 07:13 PM
Isn't Fannie the greatest! She has told me so much.
I enjoyed that memoir of R. Reichl's, too.
Posted by: Susan | May 05, 2006 at 08:46 PM
Susan that's really lovely !! Of course we older Brits are taught how to make "real" tea (without teabags and with a teapot) at our mother's knee. I still make mine with a teabag in the mug though ! *grins*
Posted by: Michele Fry | May 06, 2006 at 01:27 AM
Michele, thanks. That's so kind of you. I grew up drinking lots of iced tea, usually made by someone else like my mom. To figure out the whole tea from tea leaves thing seemed like a miracle. I could hardly believe it worked! I still love tea made in the same little teapot I found for $8. My favorite brand is Typhoo, but I can't always find it. There is something so inherently pleasant about a hot cup of tea!
Posted by: Susan | May 06, 2006 at 02:05 PM
I love the poem, Susan. I learned how to make tea from the Russians (first a condensed liquid with loose tea, the add water for each cup) and it never tastes very good from bags here.
Posted by: Kelly | May 06, 2006 at 02:50 PM
Thank you, Kelly! Ever since reading Patricia Polacco's "Thunder Cake," Junior and I have wanted a samovar. The Russian grandma in that book owns one, and makes tea to drink with the thunder cake. Do you have one?
Posted by: Susan | May 06, 2006 at 03:11 PM
Wonderfully funny, Susan -- I hope we'll get to see more from the Unpublished Chicken Spaghetti Archives.
Posted by: Chris Barton | May 07, 2006 at 02:07 PM
Love the poem! Ever since spending a bunch of time in England for work a couple of years ago, I can't drink ordinary US tea anymore. But I do buy English Breakfast tea in individually wrapped bags, and consider it a reasonable compromise. But I'm sure that if I spend much more time over there, I'll have to use your poem as a primer. Thanks!
Posted by: Jen Robinson | May 07, 2006 at 07:03 PM
Thank you very much for posting your own work - it was great.
I went on a tea kick a while back while in one of my "try to wean myself off coffee" periods. So every now and then I pull out all my stuff - nice little teapot with a butterfly motif, my two different flavours of loose tea and my little loose tea holder (I don't know what that's officially called) - also shaped like a mini tea pot, and brew away. Very relaxing. Hmm - And now possibly a plan for this evening.
Posted by: Louise | May 08, 2006 at 08:57 AM
Thanks, Chris! Now you're giving me some ideas. There is this poem that I wrote when I was about 11. Titled "Time," it's all about, well, time, and includes lines like "Time is time." Or was it, "Time is time is time"?
Jen, gracias! English breakfast in a bag is pretty good, isn't it? I don't mind regular old Red Rose tea bags for those times when filling up a teapot feels too strenuous.
Louise, you're a tea-coffee person? So am I. I do love the tea, but sometimes I NEED the coffee.
I especially enjoy going out for afternoon tea, ordering the whole shebang: scones, little sandwiches, etc.; I've heard there's a little tea shoppe a couple of towns away. I'll have to check it out. Maybe I'll even find Typhoo again. (My grocery store used to stock it with the Thai food. Typhoo=Thai food? Some kooky grocery-store thinking...)
Posted by: Susan | May 09, 2006 at 02:15 PM
I loved your poem, thank you for sharing that!
Posted by: J | April 23, 2008 at 05:13 PM
Thanks for stopping by, J. I had fun writing the poem and still enjoy thinking about my trip to Ireland.
Posted by: Susan T. | April 23, 2008 at 09:16 PM