Friday, October 23, 2009

Poetry Friday: Banana Pudding

Sometimes, you get lucky. This morning, in the mood for not-so-serious poetry, I googled "banana pudding poem."   My search returned a link to a lovely villanelle, not at all about dessert, but the end of summer. The reason it was drawn into my Google net was because the poet, Karin Gustafson, compared the making of this layered form of poetry to the banana pudding at Magnolia Bakery in New York City, the very place I ordered pudding from to celebrate the launch of Operation Yes. (You can find the recipe for it here.)

I would've savored this coincidence and moved on, except that the villanelle itself shimmers with images and leaves me wondering if all things are as deeply connected as Google search and the interlocking layers of both villanelles and banana pudding would have us believe.

Swimming in Summer
by Karin Gustafson

Our palms grew pale as paws in northern climes
as water soaked right through our outer skin.
In summers past, how brightly water shines,

its surface sparked by countless solar mimes,
an aurora only fragmented by limb.
Our palms grew pale as paws in northern climes

as we played hide and seek with sunken dimes,
diving beneath the waves of echoed din;
in summers past, how brightly water shines.

Read the rest here

Poetry Friday is hosted today by its founder, Kelly Herold, at Big A, Little a


  1. Ah, "In summers past, how brightly water shines." How full of longing...

  2. I too like the last line the best.

    I've never had banana pudding.

  3. You seduced me with banana pudding!

    What a lovely poem -- the unfolding, musicality, interweaving. Perfect comparison of villanelle form and layers of pudding.

    Hope LW gets to try some BP soon!

  4. Now I must try banana pudding!

  5. Whaaaat? There are those of you who have never had banana pudding? I'm so sorry. Try the Magnolia recipe or I have one for a banana pudding pie that is also delicious. The recipe on the side of the Nilla wafers box works excellently as well. The secret is perfectly ripe bananas, non-instant pudding, and to eat it all before the wafers get soggy.

    Oh, and Lucille's in Las Vegas has amazing pudding if you're ever there.

  6. THIS is a lustworthy poem for sure...
    I heart villanelles something fierce...

  7. "In summers past, how brightly water shines."

    I have to comment on this line, too. I love the retrospection. I often look back at events in my life and realize that I appreciate certain moments more now than I ever did at the time. We have so many moments in our lives, meaningful in retrospect.

  8. Thanks so much for your very kind comments about my villanelle and for including it in your blog. I really do recommend trying Banana Pudding, and, of course, writing villanelles.

    Karin Gustafson

  9. Wow! What an amazing Google-ish coincidence! Great poem, too...YUM!!!

  10. I love your stories of how you find these amazing poems. My mom used to make the vanilla wafer pudding all the time. I miss it now that I can't eat wheat or dairy or bananas. It's as much a memory as those childhood summers... thanks for the reminder!

  11. Sara,

    I enjoyed reading Gustafson's post about writing villanelles.

    I've never had banana pudding--sounds easy to make.

  12. thanks for the link to the banana pudding recipe on!


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