Barbara Crooker, Poem About Chocolate for Valentine’s Day

Tuesday, February 13th, 2018

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 https://www.amazon.com/dp/193619600X/?tag=barbaracrooke-20  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: www.crpress.org.

P.S. I love the abstract cover, especially the vibrant colors. The artist is Marilyn Banner: http://www.marilynbanner.com/.

♥♥♥

ODE TO CHOCOLATE

 

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.

VALENTINE’S DAY: Love, Chocolate & V-Day

Friday, February 12th, 2016

 


LOVE is definitely in the air on this day. And I have a warm spot in my heart for this day because I met my husband Alan two days before the 14th.  Subsequently, he called me to wish me Happy Valentine’s Day on the 14th, and the rest is history. Even if you have no mate, find someone you love to celebrate this day with.

And if you have recently lost or separated from a loved one, use this day to do something you love, for yourself. Or, since Valentine’s Day is about a loving heart and since Feb. 17th is Random Acts of Kindness Day, why not do a random act of kindness on Valentine’s Day to show your love to someone? Send in your random act in the Comments section, which I will respond to when I return from visiting my kids in California, my Valentine present to myself!


Ahh, Chocolate!


I noted on the Home Page that Hershey’s Chocolate went into business on February 9th, only five days before Valentine’s Day. Coincidence? Not sure, but the manufacturing of Hershey’s Kisses is probably in full swing by January in time for Valentine’s Day.

Chocolate has come a long way from being a “bad” food to a “good food.” In recent years, articles have been written about the high level of antioxidants (Antioxidants are disease fighting compounds that scientists believe help repair and/or prevent the stress of oxidation, a process that occurs naturally during normal cell function. Source: Natural News.com. Posted in my Glossary.)

Here is a word-for-word excerpt from http://longevity.about.com/od/lifelongnutrition/p/chocolate.htm? The article is:
“Why is Dark Chocolate Healthy?”

Chocolate is made from plants, which means it contains many of the health benefits of dark vegetables as part of your anti-aging diet. These benefits are from flavonoids, which act as antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the body from aging caused by free radicals, which can cause damage that leads to heart disease. Dark chocolate contains a large number of antioxidants (nearly 8 times the number found in strawberries).

Flavonoids also help relax blood pressure through the production of nitric oxide, and balance certain hormones in the body.

In fact, cocoa and chocolate products have been used as medicine in many cultures for centuries.

Heart Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate:

Dark chocolate is good for your heart. A small bar of it everyday can help keep your heart and cardiovascular system running well. Two heart health benefits of dark chocolate are:

Other Benefits of Dark Chocolate:

Chocolate also holds benefits apart from protecting your heart:

  • it tastes good
  • it stimulates endorphin production, which gives a feeling of pleasure
  • it contains serotonin, which acts as an anti-depressant
  • it contains theobromine, caffeine and other substances which are stimulants

However, the article also reminds us that chocolate is a high calorie food and should not be eaten in large quantities. Since one bar of chocolate=400 calories, 1/2 bar is 200 calories, a sizable snack, so if you want to eat that much chocolate, you need to cut out 200 calories from your diet, hopefully not fruits & veggies.

There is a great deal more on this website on chocolate, so click on the link above for the whole story. When I eat chocolate, I buy dark chocolate, as much as 85% cacao, which means much less sugar, which is the negative side of chocolate. (More on sugar in another posting.)

V-Day: Another way to celebrate Valetine’s Day is to show your support for “V-Day: Until the Violence Stops” and if you Google V-Day you can choose from a variety of sites, a Vimeo, and other related information. This is the brainchild of Vagina Monologues author and activit, Eve Ensler.

Here is an excerpt from www.vimeo.com/vday:

V-Day is a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. V-Day is a catalyst that promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations. V-Day generates broader attention for the fight to stop violence against women and girls, including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation (FGM) and sexual slavery.

If you go to this website, you will read about how global this movement in, started by this one woman, Eve Ensler, which highlights how one person can make a difference.

 

Here is a cover of the Vagina Monologues on Amazon.com. (My cover is slightly different. It is an older version.) If you have never read this book, I urge you to do so in order to understand Eve Ensler’s passion about V-Day. A victim of sexual abuse herself, I saw her perform the Vagina Monlogues in NYC with several other stars of stage and screen. It was very intense and upsetting and inspirational .

One of the quotes from the book: When women were asked What do you want for Valentine’s Day? one woman answered: “To rest my feet in some fur-covered stirrups.”

 

 

 

♥♥♥♥♥Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Love, Chocolate and a look at V-Day activities that you can participate in or donate to its continuing impact.♥♥♥♥♥

 

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