The poem “How To Eat a Poem” by Eve Merriam has a simple outer composition. The poem is structured into three stanzas of different lengths, with a total of 14 verses. The verses vary in length, from two to eleven words each.
The first stanza has four sentences split into five verses:
Don’t be polite.
Pick it up with your fingers and lick the juice that
may run down your chin.
It is ready and ripe now, whenever you are. (ll. 1-5)
The second stanza contains two verses:
You do not need a knife or fork or spoon
or plate or napkin or tablecloth. (ll. 6-7)
The third stanza contains seven verses and takes the form of a list:
For there is no core
to throw away. (ll. 8-14)
The poem is written in free-verse an...