Poetry Friday: “Ode to Peanut Butter” for #NationalPeanutButterDay

Not sure how this slipped past me…but a poem I wrote back in 2012 for someone else’s blog somehow never ended up on my own blog!

I was celebrating National Peanut Butter Day yesterday – yes, that is actually a thing – and a poem popped in my head. A poem I’d written years ago and hadn’t even given second thought to until that very moment.

It was first published on Jama Rattigan’s Alphabet Soup blog as part of her celebration of National Peanut Butter Month. (I know what you’re thinking – why does PB get its own month AND its own day? Because it’s PEANUT BUTTER, folks! It’s not like it’s Brussels sprouts, which only has one day, Jan. 31, and no one cares.)

Ah, childhood comes calling when I enjoy my first taste from a freshly-opened jar.

Anyway, in advance of sharing my poem for today’s post, I searched Jama’s blog to re-read her original post. She had requested that her followers send her peanut butter poems, and I was one of the four people she featured that day.

As I read her post, I was surprised by two things: one, that Father Goose (aka Charles Ghigna) and I both have an affinity for Peter Pan peanut butter (which I had forgotten about), and two, that the three other folks Jama featured in this particular post are all extremely talented individuals I feel fortunate to have gotten to know much better in these years since: Charles, David Harrison, and Marilyn Singer.

So here it is! It’s not the fanciest, best poem I’ve ever written…but it was written with the love of peanut butter in my soul, and that counts for something:

Ode to Peanut Butter

I love how you’re creamy,
so smooth and so fine –
even when chunky,
I‘m glad you’re all mine.

I love how you’re salty,
a little bit sweet…
so richly delicious,
a wonderful treat!

I’ll smear you on crackers,
I’ll spread you on bread;
I’ll eat you with breakfast
and right before bed.

There’s only one small thing
I’m not keen about:
da way dat you thtick
to da woof of my mouf.

– © 2012, Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved

Full disclosure: I’m actually a peanut butter snob. While creamy Peter Pan is definitely my favorite, there are other peanut butters with whom I have cheated, and will readily do so again. JIF has a unique taste because it contains molasses; I prefer crunchy peanut butter in most of my cooking, as it adds a nice texture, especially to cookies; and as a New Englander, I grew up with Teddie on the table more often than Peter Pan, and will never forget those huge plastic tubs of creamy, peanut buttery-goodness…

THREE pounds, people…three luscious, delectable pounds.

Have a taste for more poetry? Tara Smith at Going to Walden has this week’s Poetry Friday roundup, along with a very timely poem from Linda Pastan about something happening “Somewhere in the World…”

And by the way, I will be spending most of next Friday, February 1, reading to students via Skype as part of #WorldReadAloudDay! If you would be interested in having me join your class for a 20 minute visit, I will read one of my picture books, share some poetry, and talk a little bit about the writing process and how they all came to be! Just email me at matt(at)mattforrest(dot)com and I’ll reply as quickly as I can.


Ordering personalized signed copies online?
Oh, yes, you can!

  Coming July 2, 2019!

You can purchase personalized signed copies of Flashlight Night, (Boyds Mills Press, 2017), Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (Pow! Kids Books, 2018), and nearly ALL of the books or anthologies I’ve been part of!

Just click the cover of whichever book you want and send the good folks at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH a note requesting the signature and to whom I should make it out to. (alternatively, you can log onto my website and do the same thing) They’ll contact me, I’ll stop by and sign it for you, and then they’ll ship it. Try doing that with those big online booksellers! (Plus, you’ll be helping to support local book-selling – and wouldn’t that make you feel good?)


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38 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: “Ode to Peanut Butter” for #NationalPeanutButterDay

  1. I love your poem and your whole post Matt, I was taken by the Peanut butter jar, and your last few lines are terrific! I never had “Teddy” peanut butter, but it looks pretty good. I don’t remember what I grew up with but we ate a lot of peanut butter. Today I like the whole foods ground peanut butter so maybe I’m a bit of a pb snob too…


  2. jheitman22

    I do love peanut butter myself. So does our golden retriever, Watson. We both suffer from
    “da way dat you thtick
    to da woof of my mouf.”


  3. Well, I must say I am shocked to hear you are a PB cheater!! Here I thought it was Peter Pan for you all the way. 😀

    I do remember PB Month fondly, and how you and Charles preferred Peter Pan. And I’ve never heard of Teddie’s. Fun to read your ode again!


    1. Teddie is a local, New England brand, so unless you’re from the area you probably would not have heard of it. As for Charles & I, we later discovered that Peter Pan was not the only thing we had in common! (I’ll be more forthcoming in the weeks ahead…)


  4. davidlharrison

    Matt, thank you for your bravery in introducing such a controversial topic! I grew up on Peter Pan but some years ago switched to Jiffy, extra crunchy. I sometimes feel guilt as my hand hovers over a jar of PP but then moves on to yet another Jiffy. Such matters can haunt you for life.


    1. Oh, my folks used to buy that occasionally when I was a kid, but I don’t buy it that often…that molasses does add a nice touch, though! And as I mentioned to Jama in the initial post, I still think a PB poetry anthology would be fun!


  5. Karen Eastlund

    I must enter the PB fray! I eat PB on apple slices most mornings. Can’t live without it. I grew up with Skippy Chunky but am now into CostCo’s organic creamy. No sugar added, still delicious! I recently read an interesting book (The Human by Matt Haig) in which an alien comes to earth and the only food he is drawn to is peanut butter. I think we can all see why. I love the poem, Matt… especially the ending. Yeth!!! And thanks for letting us know about Nat’l PB Day & month. What’s next? Bacon!


  6. I think I must be one of the only people on the planet (other than the allergy ridden) to not like peanut butter! I tried, don’t get me wrong, but I just could not develop that deep affection that you have captured so perfectly in your poem. Perhaps my aversion has something to do with your last two lines (brilliant). This was such a fun poem to read!


  7. I adore peanut butter, and I adore this poem. I’m a bit of a peanut butter connoisseur myself. Have you ever had peanut butter that the Amish make? It has marshamallow in it, and it is beyond amazing. I’ve often said that if it weren’t for peanut butter, my very picky son would’ve starved to death as a toddler.


  8. Matt, I have been on peanut butter kick lately so your poem was mouth-watering good. The last lines gave me quite a laugh. Thanks for sharing and working so hard to find the poem for us to savor.


    1. Thanks, Buffy – that does sound interesting, and I’d be willing to try it out. And yes, Brussels sprouts, when cooked properly (i.e., roasted), are very good, especially when I drizzle them with an apple cider vinegar reduction and toss them with crisp bacon. 😉


  9. haitiruth

    Mm, a delicious poem! You should try Haitian peanut butter some day. It has a hint of spice… Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com


  10. Another whopper of an ending, Matt! This poem is a delight from start to finish. I’m so glad you shared it here. Thanks!
    PS It’s Jif all the way at our house. I didn’t realize Jif contained molasses, but that explains it. YUM!


  11. Kay Mcgriff

    I do love some good peanut butter (but most definitely has to be creamy), but I have never liked peanuts. Go figure. Now I both love and dread it since dealing with my daughter’s peanut allergy. It just doesn’t seem fair that something I enjoy can be so deadly for others.


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