Reflections on the 400th Thanksgiving

Reflections on the 400th Thanksgiving

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Today, in honor of the 400th celebration of Thanksgiving, I thought it would be good to pull together my Thanksgiving poems written over the years. I have no doubt others buried in my computer’s hard drive, and if I ever get my act together to find them, I will update this in due course.

Thanksgiving and Christmas were my favorite holidays as a child.  I grew up eating Southern Style cooking, as my Mom was from Arkansas and my Dad from Yakima, Washington, and she did most of the cooking and was a creative cook.

She did thanksgiving/Christmas full southern style – featuring a full roast turkey (fried turkey was not common when she grew up although now in the south fried turkey is as common as roasted turkey).

Here’s the recipe

Roasted turkey
Stuffing in the bird bread, onion, ham bits, bacon bits, herbal mix)
Gravy
Sweet potato pie with marshmallows
Cranberry sauce
Mashed potatoes
Corn Bread
Salad
Green beans
Southern-style greens –
turnip, collard, kale, spinach
with bacon, ham, onions and, molasses
Rice
Wild rice
Roasted potato au gratin
Pumpkin pie with whipped cream
Vanilla ice cream to finish the meal

And leftover turkey sandwiches for a week.

I found three articles that are apt.   See below for links to the full article. The first is an article about what the first Thanksgiving meal consisted of, and the second is an article on how Thanksgiving was a controversial holiday in the south until the late 19th century, as it was seen as a Yankee puritan tradition and competed with Christmas, and the third is a history of the holiday. It only became a holiday in the civil war, and only became what we think of it in the late 19th century.

Many families mine included did the same menu on both Thanksgiving and Christmas although some families did something a bit different for Christmas, substituting ham, duck, goose, Cornish game hens, or a pot roast for the turkey for example.

And there were ethnic variations of course.  And Jewish people usually went out for a Chinese meal on Christmas, as did the Chinese as well. In Berkeley, my Jewish and Chinese friends celebrated Thanksgiving with the full bird treatment, but went out on CHriatmas day for Chinese food.

Poems

Thanksgiving Gratitude

Thanksgiving Memories
Ode to Thanksgiving Meals Past and Present
Best/Worst Thanksgiving Ever Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving Day
Best/Worst Thanksgiving Ever Thanksgiving
Thankful for my Angel On Thanksgiving Day
Thanksgiving COVID Senryu
Turkey Senryu
Turkey Revolt
Death to All Humans, the Mad Turkey Screams

Three Thanksgiving articles -excerpts
What was on the first Thanksgiving menu? Smithsonian
When Thanksgiving was fighting words LA Times
Invention of Thanksgiving – New Yorker and other articles

Thanksgiving Poems

Thanksgiving Memories

On thanksgiving day
We are grateful
For the little things
In life

For the memories
for the food
that we will enjoy
on this day of giving thanks

Writing com Prompt: National Gratitude Month encourages us to embrace the power of gratitude
In an 8-line poem, write about just one non-human thing you are truly grateful for.

Ode to Thanksgiving Meals Past and Present

Growing up
My favorite holidays
Were Thanksgiving
And Christmas

We did a traditional Thanksgiving
And Christmas dinner as well
Southern American style

As my Mom was from Arkansas
My Dad was from Yakima
And we lived in Berkeley, California

Featuring of course the full bird

Roasted turkey
Stuffing in the bird
consisting of bread, onion, carrots, ham bits,
walnuts,bacon bits, and herbal sage mixture
That came with the stuffing mix
Gravy
Sweet potato pie with marshmallows
Cranberry sauce
Mashed potatoes
Corn Bread
Salad
Green beans
Southern-style greens –
turnip, collard, kale, spinach
with bacon, ham, onions and, molasses
Rice
Wild rice
Roasted potato au gratin
Pumpkin pie with whipped cream
Vanilla ice cream to finish the meal
And leftover turkey sandwiches
For a week

Nowadays
Whenever I am
In the world

I try to have a traditional
Thanksgiving dinner
but it is hard
doing so overseas
where turkey
is just not that common
a food item

and Thanksgiving is such
an American (and Candadian) tradition
not celebrated anywhere else

over the years
I have had steak
Ham, Mexican food
Indian food
on Thanksgiving Day

Even sushi on thanksgiving
In Okinawa

And once
I had Tofu Turkey

Even though
I am from California
That was a step too far
Just not for me.

But in the end
Nothing is more satisfactory
Than eating turkey
On Thanksgiving night

I have added drinking
A bit of bourbon
On Thanksgiving day
To my routine

On this Thanksgiving day
In Korea

We did a roasted turkey breast
Cranberry sauce
Mashed potatoes
Asparagus
Cheesecake

Bourbon
And wine

The turkey, cranberry sauces, bourbon, and wine
came from the Army Commissary
The other ingredients from COSTCO

It was just divine
As always

And in the end
It all comes together
As I eat my Thanksgiving dinner
No matter where I am

As long as I am eating
Thanksgiving dinner
With my wife

It does not matter
too much
What we are eating

Forever thankful
She is there
To share my life
On this special day.

This week’s prompt is Holiday Meals.  While most people, here in the U.S.  have the typical Thanksgiving turkey dinner with mashed potatoes, stuffing, and cranberry sauce, not everyone follows the crowd. Think back to holiday meals you participated in when you were younger. Feel free to write about Thanksgiving or any other holiday meal you choose. Please share any items of food that you or others might feel are out of the ordinary. Do you have memories of any special or surprise guests that came to any of your holiday meals? Did you ever have a catastrophic holiday meal?  Do you still carry on the same holiday meal traditions you had as a kid, or have you changed things up? Are you now typically the host or hostess for meals (sans Covid) or do you usually participate as a guest? Does your family like to go out for holiday meals, or do you prefer to stay at home? Is your table setting different for holiday meals? Do you decorate the whole house as part of your mealtime mood? Please share some memories of your special holiday meals.

Thanksgiving Day

On Thanksgiving Day
We are grateful
For the little things
In life

For the memories
for the food
that we will enjoy
on this day of giving thanks

For the day of Thanksgiving here in the USA, we are featuring the theme of gratitude, in any form or style that you prefer. Several examples can be found for inspiration in the following links:

https://www.readpoetry.com/8-poems-for-gratitude/

https://interestingliterature.com/2021/09/best-poems-about-gratitude-and-appreci…

https://gratefulness.org/resource-category/poetry/

Blessings

Best/Worst Thanksgiving Ever Thanksgiving

It was a thanksgiving to remember
One of the best
And one of the worst as well

It started with burned dinner rolls
Then power outage stopped the turkey
Finishing roasting in the oven

They pulled out the mostly cooked bird
Declaring it was time
To eat

And sat down
Having a traditional southern style
Thanksgiving dinner

Featuring of course the full bird

Roasted turkey
Stuffing in the bird of course
Gravy
Sweat potato pie with marshmallows,
Cranberry sauce
Mashed potatoes
Corn Bread
Salad
Green beans

And left-over turkey sandwiches
For a week

Uncle Bob lost a tooth
The doorbell rang,
The dog dashed
out the door
Chasing the mailman
Down the road

Mom brought out
Desert
pumpkin pie with hipped cream

Writing com prompt was to use the following words in a Thanksgiving poem

Burned dinner rolls
Power outage
Uncle Bob Lost a tooth
Dog dashed out the Door
pumpkin pie with Hipped cream

Happy Thanksgiving Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving
Devotion
Thanksgiving
Big
Hiking
Yipee

Every day the fridge magnet site publishes a lits of words that you can use to make a refrigerator magnet poem from. Today’s Fridge prompt words were:

unlike
bag
pact
yippee
addicted
considering
vertigo
tampon
employ
NBC
sleet
decoy
hers
hearing
hey
denominational
cunning
big
steaming
sock
democracy
swear
significantly
what’s open on thanksgiving
ecological
fetid
India vs New Zealand
backstroke
timid
Spartan
silt
faint
votive
abroad
gringo
he
nan
thank
happy thanksgiving
devotion
cheque
hiking
thanksgiving
improve
retracted

Thankful for My Angel on Thanksgiving Day

On Thanksgiving Day
I woke up
and saw my wife
Sleeping peacefully

I look at her
In the dawning light
Filling my soul
With her love

I drink my coffee
Contemplating my life
Ever thankful
Especially on Thanksgiving day

For the angel
That came to me

Out of my dreams
Walking into my life
Taking charge of me

39 years ago
I met my fate
On that date.

Thanksgiving Senryu

This Thanksgiving
Celebration of life
COVID is Ending

 

Turkey Revolt

On Thanksgiving Day
The feast started late
The turkey was having a problem
He refused to go quietly
Into the oven

The turkey stood up
Screaming
What is wrong with you people?
You are going to burn me alive?

What have I done to you?
Why can’t you just pardon me
Like the President did

I mean, I am cuter than
Peter Butter
And Jelly anyway

The turkey grabbed a knife
And killed the guests

Running out into the dark
Joining all the other
Suddenly “woke” turkeys

All screaming
“I am mad as hell
and not going to take it anymore
Death to all humans.”

That was the day
That went down in history
As the Thanksgiving
Turkey revolt.

writing com prompt: the feast was late because the big bird

Death to All Humans Turkey Screams

The big feast was ready
and the family
made its way

to the dinner table
when suddenly,

the turkey woke up,
jumping off the table

he picks up a knife
and attacks
and kills the family

Screaming
“Death to all humans”

Ending the Thanksgiving Day
feast for the family.

writing com prompt The big feast was ready and the family
made its way to the dinner table when suddenly,

What am I grateful for?  Thanksgiving Day Poem

On this Thanksgiving Day
I am thankful
For the fact
That I have survived
My 66 birthday

My father and grandfather
Both died at age 65
And I felt a curse
Had been lifted
As I lived beyond
That date

No cancer
No Alzheimers yet
And no COVID

Cheated death
In my life
22 times

And most important
I am still madly in love
With the love of my life

Whom I met
In a dream
47 years ago

39 years ago
She walked into my life
Becoming my wife

And this fairy tale romance
Has continued to this date
And for that I am thankful.

Thanksgiving Day Feelings

On this Thanksgiving Day day
We have a lot
To be thankful for

A lot to be grateful for
Most importantly
We have survived

Old Corona has not
Taken us away
We are alive

Love and life
Continues

As we gather around
The dinner table

Thinking of the past
Enjoying the moment
With thanks in our hearts

We say
Happy Thanksgiving Day

Happy Thanksgiving Day F’ing

Happy Thanksgiving Day
Considering her
hey a cunning
big steaming gringo
f… her
on Thanksgiving Day

unlike
bag
pact
yippee
addicted
considering
vertigo
tampon
employ
NBC
sleet
decoy
hers
hearing
hey
denominational
cunning
big
steaming
sock
democracy
swear
significantly
what’s open on Thanksgiving Day
ecological
fetid
India vs New Zealand
backstroke
timid
spartan
silt
faint
votive
abroad
gringo
he
nan
thank
happy Thanksgiving Day
devotion
cheque
hiking
Thanksgiving Day
improve
retracted

For the 2021 November PAD Chapbook Challenge, poets are tasked with authoring a poem a day in November before assembling a chapbook manuscript in December. Today’s prompt is to write a remix poem.

ROBERT LEE BREWER

For today’s prompt, write a remix poem. For this poem, take one of your poems (or several of your poems) and make a remixed version that is a completely new poem. This could involve lengthening a short poem or condensing a longer poem.

Remember: These prompts are springboards to creativity. Use them to expand your possibilities, not limit them.

Thanksgiving JiYu Shi Poem

Thanksgiving day
A time for reflection
A time to feast
With friends and family
Nowadays in person and zoom
Hard to eat a turkey
On zoom

What am I grateful for?  Thanksgiving Day Poem

On this Thanksgiving Day
I am thankful
For the fact
That I have survived
My 66 birthday

My father and grandfather
Both died at age 65
And I felt a curse
Had been lifted

As I lived beyond
That date

No cancer
No Alzheimers yet
And no COVID

Cheated death
In my life
22 times

And most importantly
I am still madly in love
With the love of my life

Whom I met
In a dream
39 years later

She walked into my life
Becoming my wife

And this fairy tale romance
Has continued to this date
And for that I am thankful.

What was on the Menu for the First Thanksgiving?

“The history of the holiday meal tells us that turkey was always the centerpiece, but other courses have since disappeared What Was on the Menu at the First Thanksgiving?

Megan Gambino” title=”What Was on the First Thanksgiving Menu”>

Senior Editor

November 21, 2011

Traditional Thanksgiving dinner includes turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes but the First Thanksgiving likely included wildfowl, corn, porridge and venison. Bettmann / Corbis

Today, the traditional Thanksgiving dinner includes any number of dishes: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, candied yams, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. But if one were to create a historically accurate feast, consisting of only those foods that historians are certain were served at the so-called “first Thanksgiving,” there would be slimmer pickings. “Wildfowl was there. Corn, in grain form for bread or for porridge, was there. Venison was there,” says Kathleen Wall. “These are absolutes.”

https://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-thanksgiving-south-history-20171223-story.html#:~:text=In%20America%2C%20there%20was%20a%20time%20when%20even,War%2C%20circa%201864.%20%28Kean%20Collection%20%2F%20Getty%20Images%29
In America, there was a time when even ‘Thanksgiving’ was a fightin’ word

An engraving shows Union troops receiving Thanksgiving rations during the Civil War, circa 1864.

(Kean Collection / Getty Images)

BY JENNY JARVIE

NOV. 23, 2017 3 AM PT

Reporting from Atlanta —

“When Americans across North and South gather for Thanksgiving around tables laden with turkey and cranberries, perhaps the biggest regional disagreement centers on stuffing versus dressing.

It was not always so. In the runup to the Civil War, there was strong resistance in the South toward Thanksgiving itself.

“With the whole prospect of a showdown over the expansion of slavery, there was more and more rhetoric coming out of the South charging that Thanksgiving was pretty much a Yankee abolitionist holiday,” said James C. Cobb, professor emeritus of history at the University of Georgia.

While governors from Arkansas to Mississippi gradually embraced the idea of Thanksgiving in the 1840s, issuing Thanksgiving proclamations for their states, the idea of celebrating a traditional Puritan northern holiday became more contentious in the 1850s with the heightening temperature of the national slavery debate.

“Thanksgiving was, above all, a New England holiday, and New England was abolitionist territory,” as Diana Karter Appelbaum put it in her book “Thanksgiving: An American Holiday, an American History.”

For more see

https://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-thanksgiving-south-history-20171223-story.html#:~:text=In%20America%2C%20there%20was%20a%20time%20when%20even,War%2C%20circa%201864.%20%28Kean%20Collection%20%2F%20Getty%20Images%29

The Invention of Thanksgiving

Massacres, myths, and the making of the great November holiday.

By Philip Deloria

November 18, 2019

“Autumn is the season for Native America. There are the cool nights and warm days of Indian summer and the genial query “What’s Indian about this weather?” More wearisome is the annual fight over the legacy of Christopher Columbus—a bold explorer dear to Italian-American communities, but someone who brought to this continent forms of slavery that would devastate indigenous populations for centuries. Football season is in full swing, and the team in the nation’s capital revels each week in a racist performance passed off as “just good fun.” As baseball season closes, one prays that Atlanta (or even semi-evolved Cleveland) will not advance to the World Series. Next up is Halloween, typically featuring “Native American Brave” and “Sexy Indian Princess” costumes. November brings Native American Heritage Month and tracks a smooth countdown to Thanksgiving. In the elementary-school curriculum, the holiday traditionally meant a pageant, with students in construction-paper headdresses and Pilgrim hats reënacting the original celebration. If today’s teachers aim for less pageantry and a slightly more complicated history, many students still complete an American education unsure about the place of Native people in the nation’s past—or in its present. Cap the season off with Thanksgiving, a turkey dinner, and a fable of interracial harmony. Is it any wonder that by the time the holiday arrives a lot of American Indian people are thankful that autumn is nearly over?

Americans have been celebrating Thanksgiving for nearly four centuries, commemorating that solemn dinner in November 1621. We know the story well or think we do. Adorned in funny hats, large belt buckles, and clunky black shoes, the Pilgrims of Plymouth gave thanks to God for his blessings, demonstrated by the survival of their fragile settlement. The local Indians, supporting characters who generously pulled the Pilgrims through the first winter and taught them how to plant corn, joined the feast with gifts of venison. A good time was had by all before things quietly took their natural course: the American colonies expanded, the Indians gave up their lands and faded from history, and the germ of collective governance found in the Mayflower Compact blossomed into American democracy.

Almost none of this is true, as David Silverman points out in “This Land Is Their Land: The Wampanoag Indians, Plymouth Colony, and the Troubled History of Thanksgiving” (Bloomsbury).”

For more see

https://search.yahoo.com/search?p=The+Invention+of+Thanksgiving

The End

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