There is no doubt, we are becoming a coffee culture. Across America, soccer moms have traded Diet Coke cans for paper cups of their favorite double-shot lattes. Working stiffs pull single servings of barely palatable stuff from the Keurig. Hipsters eschew all other permutations of joe for a mug of single-batch Harrar (chemex brewed, of course). It’s intriguing, I think, the way our various subcultures have adapted the drink to their own particular styles.
This nationwide trend is felt acutely in my medium-sized university town, where we boast no fewer than thirteen coffee shops, the majority of which opened their doors in the last ten years. We have local artisan roasters, expert cuppers, and graduate students who prepare well-researched papers regarding the socioeconomic effects of corporate coffee plantations on local farmers. Here, the university has influenced us, so we mostly take our coffee with a bit of cream and a spoonful of pseudo-academic sweetener. And we take it by the jugful.
Yes, it seems that coffee is infiltrating all of our communities, replacing the time-tested stimulating beverages of yesteryear—cola. After all, I can’t remember the last time someone asked me if I wanted to take a Coke break (though my grandmother insists this was all the rage in the 1950s). And though my anecdotal observations may not conclusively prove that coffee is quickly supplanting cola as America’s drink of choice, I stumbled across an article that seems to lend support. According to the Atlantic, coffee revenues are trending upward while soft-drink revenues are heading south. Moreover, sales of coffee are projected to surpass those of cola in the not-too-distant future. What does this mean exactly? Folks are pitching the Pepsi, ditching the Diet Coke, and swapping their Sprite for a cup of joe.
The beverage wars are on—soft drinks v. coffee. Which will ultimately win? I suppose that depends on whether the growing interest in coffee is more than a passing fad. Which brings us to the subject of this week’s poetry prompt. Pit coffee against soft drinks (or any other drink, really) in a duel to the death. Compare; contrast. Write something unexpected, something different. Play with personification; use metaphor. But above all, have fun.
Now, who’s first? Let the battle begin!
Tweetspeak’s January Coffee and Tea Poetry Prompt:
This month’s poetry theme at Tweetspeak is coffee and tea, and we’re composing poems that play with the theme. Perhaps you can gain a bit of inspiration from this month’s playlist, from the music at your local coffee joint, or from some other coffee or tea inspired piece of art. How do you participate?
1. Think about your favorite experiences, works of art, literary scenes, or songs that involve coffee or tea. Listen to the Tweetspeak monthly poetry playlist.
2. Compose a poem inspired by your coffee and tea experiences.
3. Tweet your poems to us. Add a #TSCoffeeCup hashtag so we can find it and maybe share it with the world.
4. If you aren’t a twitter user, leave your poem here in the comment box.
5. At the end of the month, we’ll choose a winning poem and feature it in one of our upcoming Weekly Top 10 Poetic Picks.
Last week, there were a few gems dropped on Tweetspeak’s “How do you Take it?” prompt. Monica Sharman shared a poem on her her own website. In “How I Take my Coffee, ” she opens with a marvelous run:
Coffee is unlike an emergency
or harsh criticism
or a sudden change in plans;
I take it well
no matter how it comes…
I’m with you, Monica. Visit her site for the full poem.
Tess shared 5 different haiku with us. In “So Cold, ” she writes:
The sun she floats up.
Even cold, you arouse me.
Ice trails down my skin.
Craig visited, too. He shared his observations from a coffee shop. In one, he writes:
at my fav’rite café
Allen’s last poems
wait on the table.
Even reading demands courage…
I’m imagining him to mean Ginsberg, which indeed takes courage. Good work Craig.
Visit last week’s poetry prompt and read the prompts for the full offering of responses.
Now, let’s brew up some great poetry. Who’s first?