June 10, 2011

Poetry Friday--"Soda Crackers"

At our library booksale I purchased a pristine copy of Garrison Keillor's collection of poetry titled Good Poems for Hard Times. It appears as though it had never been cracked open. Not once. Well, I cracked it open and came across a poem called "Soda Crackers" by Raymond Carver.

Soda Crackers

You soda crackers! I remember
when I arrived here in the rain,
whipped out and alone.
How we shared the aloneness
and quiet of this house.
And the doubt that held me
from fingers to toes
as I took you out
of your cellophane wrapping
and ate you, meditatively,
at the kitchen table
that first night with cheese,
and mushroom soup. Now,
a month later to the day,
an important part of us
is still here. I'm fine.
And you—I'm proud of you, too.
You're even getting remarked
on in print! Every soda cracker
should be so lucky.
We've done all right for
ourselves. Listen to me.
I never thought
I could go on like this
about soda crackers.
But I tell you
the clear sunshiny
days are here, at last.
Not a day later, I was in the grocery store with my daughter. A very famous cracker company is now packaging their soda crackers, a.k.a. saltines, in boxes with eight sleeves of crackers. Each sleeve supplies crackers enough to satisfy a cheese and cracker attack. It is so much better to package crackers in smaller sleeves because, in a larger package, inevitably, the leftovers go stale and end up in the trash.

This is the way my life goes, I get excited about soda cracker packaging. After I got over my excitement about the box, I told my daughter, "Hey, I just read a poem about soda crackers!" What a clear sunshiny day--crispy crackers and poetry--who can ask for anything more!

The Poetry Friday Round-Up for this week is being held at Picture Book of the Day.

Photo by spacebarpark.


  1. This reminds me of my father! One of his favorite hot-weather dinners was a bowl of crackers and milk. I think it was one of his better Depression-era childhood memories.

  2. One of my favorite poems :). I totally understand your excitement about smaller sleeves. Love crackers with lots of butter!

  3. It's so nice to know someone (well, virtually) who gets excited about soda cracker packaging! Neat poem, Diane - love Carver talking to them like an old friend ("We've done alright for / ourselves...") and those "clear sunshiny / days"
    seal the deal, don't they?

  4. Mmmm...soda crackers with butter -- YUM! Only thing better is soda crackers and the last bit of icing...I think it's time for an after dinner snack!

  5. Sometimes when I'm teaching poetry to kids and yet another kid answers the kickstarter question "Well, what do you LOVE?" with a dreamy-eyed "Candy," I sigh inwardly. This poem reminds me of what I know so well but tend to forget: that nothing delights, comforts, reminds, inspires like a favorite food.

    Saltines, peanut butter, glass of milk...

  6. Wow! this is so cool; we've got some (i wont say the brand for i'm not advertising) but one advert refers to them as "vital supplies"
    lovely poem, i just know absolutely i couldn't do better

    much love...