Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Poem about Corn

I was reminded the other day of the documentary, King Corn, which in turn got me thinking about some poems I've been working on, inspired by found text from a 1970s-era children's nonfiction book I found at the thrift store. I have a handful of poems in this series so far and hope to write more. The poems take up different topics about how different foods and consumer products are made. Here's one about the many uses of corn. Corn is pretty wonderful when you think about it, controversies about corn syrup and ethanol and cattle feed aside...

Some of the Wonders of Corn

Corn belongs to the family
of grasses. We make its stalk
into paper. We make its cob

into ink and cloth. We use corn oil
in food and soap. Corn starch
helps seal our stamps and envelopes.

We drink alcohol made from corn
and when we heat tiny kernels,
they blow up. Corn is truly

amazing when it pops.

P.S. If you haven't seen King Corn and are at all interested in how food is grown in the U.S. and how corn production and use has changed over the years, I highly recommend this movie. The filmmakers take an engaging, personal approach to their subject.

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