Barbara Crooker, Poem About Chocolate for Valentine’s Day

Last spring I attended the annual alumnae luncheon for Douglass College, my alma mater, (division of Rutgers University) and met Barbara Crooker. I recently sent for two of her books, MORE and GOLD and read both of them within 2 days of receiving them.

Reading Barbara’s poetry is like seeing the English language in a different light. Using phrases, metaphors, and attributing human characteristics to non-human items (such as in “Chocolate” below) creates wonderful imagery! I am sold on her poetry.


With Valentine’s Day this month, I decided to choose this poem, “Chocolate” from her book MORE.   (I will put the second poem from GOLD in another posting.)
Chocolate and Valentine’s Day just seem like a natural combo.

I thoroughly enjoy her poems and hope to feature more in future blogs. Her books are available on Amazon  and possibly in local book stores or directly from Barbara: bcrooker@ptd.netMORE is published by C&R Press in Chattanooga, TN (2010) and costs $14.95. Their website is:

P.S. I love the abstract cover, especially the vibrant colors. The artist is Marilyn Banner:




I hate milk chocolate, don’t want clouds

of cream diluting the dark night sky,

don’t want pralines or raisins, rubble

in this smooth plateau. I like my coffee

black, my beer from Germany, wine

from Burgundy, the darker, the better.

I like my heroes complicated and brooding,

James Dean in oiled leather, leaning

on a motorcycle. You know the color.


Oh, chocolate! From the spice bazaars

of Africa, hulled in mills, beaten,

pressed in bars. The cold slab of a cave’s

interior, when all the stars

have gone to sleep.


Chocolate strolls up to the microphone

and plays jazz at midnight, the low slow

notes of a bass clarinet. Chocolate saunters

down the runway, slouches in quaint

boutiques; its style is je ne sais quoi.

Chocolate stays up late and gambles,

likes roulette. Always bets

on the noir.

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