JUST READ: Eat This Poem
“I want to remember us this way – late September sun streaming through the window, bread loaves and golden bunches of grapes on the table, spoonfuls of hot soup rising to our lips, filling us with what endures.” – Peter Pereira, from “A Pot of Red Lentils”
I’ve just finished reading Nicole Gulotta’s latest book called Eat This Poem, and my was it lovely. This is a short read (just shy of 200 pages) filled with poems by the likes of Mary Oliver and Peter Pereira, plus Gulotta’s own stories and recipes, all of which are stitched together in delightful prose. I love how she explains food and poetry as kindred spirits, where food fills the stomach and poetry fills the soul. I couldn’t agree more.
Oftentimes, poetry can seem daunting and inaccessible, a language of its own. Thankfully, Gulotta is an acolyte in this book, helping readers decode the passages so that every page pulses with broader meaning. Since reading this small tome, I’ve found myself being more mindful in the kitchen. These days, there is joy in tying an apron around my waist and setting up a proper mise en place. I have come to embrace the small pleasures of my kitchen, from the fragrance of onion sautéing on a stovetop to the rustic country jar filled with collected wooden spoons. Like the lines of a poem, I find myself working with simple ingredients and creating something that is more special and beautiful once thoughtfully combined. In this way, the act of cooking has taken on a poetic position in my life, a regular ritual to be relished and enjoyed. While I often donate books once I’ve finished them, Eat This Poem might just linger in my home, ready to be savored the second time around.