Poem – Raymond Carver ‘Soda Crackers’

Raymond Carver is one of my favourite short story writers and a heart-stopping poet.
I’ve chosen to memorise Soda Crackers as my poem of the month for May, in part because it reminds me of my native Pacific Northwest. In part because I love the way Carver’s euphoria is hysterical smoke that can’t screen the deep fissure of sadness and doubt from which it rises.

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Soda Crackers

You soda crackers! I remember
when I arrived here in the rain,
whipped out and alone.
How we shared the aloneness
and quiet of this house.
And the doubt that held me
from my fingers to toes
as I took you out
of your cellophane wrapping
and ate you, meditatively,
at the kitchen table
that first night with cheese,
and mushroom soup. Now,
a month later to the day,
an important part of us
is still here. I’m fine.
And you – I’m proud of you, too.
You’re even getting remarked
on in print. Every soda cracker
should be so lucky.
We’ve done all right for
ourselves. Listen to me.
I never thought
I could go on like this
about soda crackers.
But I tell you
the clear sunshiny
days are here, at last.


Tell us about your favourite Carver story, quote or poem in the comments!

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