I have created a poem for your enjoyment. I’m actually really excited about this one, I like it a lot. I’ve titled it “Happiness”
Happiness- By Azure Bottorff
3/4 c. shortning
1 c. sugar
1 c. molasses
4 1/2 c. flour
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. ginger
1 1/2 t baking soda
Cream the shortning and sugar; add the egg and molasses.
Sift the flour, spices and baking powder together.
Alternately add the flour mixture and 3/4 c boiling water to the molasses mixture.
I add some flour, mix., add 1/4 c. boiling water, mix, more flour, mix, 1/4 c, boiling water, flour, 1/4 c boiling water, last of the flour.
Chill the dough an hour or more. Roll out 1/2″ thick.
Bake 350° 12 to 15 minutes or until the top springs back when touched lightly. DO NOT overcook or they will be dry.
Great poem, no? The alternate title is “Grandpa’s Big Puffy Molasses Cookies.”
So here’s the story behind it: I was thinking about free-verse poetry. See, in my Young Adult Lit. class one of the books that we were assigned was written in free-verse poetry. I’ve been thinking about that kind of poetry since then. How do you get good quality free-verse poetry? What makes free-verse poetry written by a professional so much better than free-verse poetry by me? It was fun thinking about free-verse poetry, because I thought it was like writing out a prayer. I’ve done that before you know, sometimes writing just seems more natural, and free-verse poetry now seems like the natural way to write out a prayer. If that makes any sense.
I was thinking about free-verse poetry more yesterday, partly because I did write out a prayer in free-verse that day, but also because my sister was reading that free-verse book, for her Young Adlut Lit. class. I was thinking about the stanzas were the author would describe her yams. And then suddenly it hit me that recipes were like free-verse poetry.
And then I said to myself, “That’s crazy.” But I liked the idea anyway. And then I thought about Duchamp’s fountain. It was what you call a “ready-made art.” Look it up if you don’t know what I mean. Basically he slapped a title and signature on an object that already existed, and basically gave it a new meaning. It was quite the controversy.
I like my “ready-made poem” better. For one thing, it’s very useful. Talk about pragmatism in art. For another thing, I think this is a very uplifting poem. Of course, it would for me. I attach a great deal of meaning to the poem. This is a recipe my grandpa gave my dad- and they taste really good. I remember for the longest time Dad would say “I should really get that recipe…” Then finally he did, and we could taste these mysterious ‘puffy molasses cookies.’ That being said, I have to give the credit of the recipe to grandpa, and wherever he got the recipe from. But the poem is mine.
Is it weird that I actually feel a little brilliant for coming up with this? It’s like I get to be a misunderstood artist in the secret corner of my mind. And at the very least, it made me happy.
To think… all these ideas that I have, all the inspiration that I get… and most people won’t know about it. It’s so sad. After all, I feel like I have something to offer that nobody else in the world has. I want to share this idea. And there are creative people in the world, who try so hard to get their ideas out and into the world- they don’t want to get published or recognized just to earn money, surely there are less painful ways to do that. It must be hard for those people.