Friday, July 15, 2011


Last Friday, I posted a poem titled Fireball about one of my favorite kinds of candy—when I was a kid. I got quite a response. It seems the poem brought back memories of childhood for some of the people who commented about the poem.

I admit that I had a real sweet tooth when I was young. There was a little candy store about a two-minute walk from my house. In my mind today, I can still see the glass case in the store that held all the candy bars and dozens of different kinds of penny candies. I could buy a lot of sweets with a dime back in the 1950s. Candy bars were just five cents. I loved Sky Bars and Malo Cups and Mint Juleps and Squirrel Nuts…and so many other kinds of candy.

One of my most vivid childhood memories is of an early summer evening when a few neighborhood friends and I sat around the stone fireplace that my father had built in our backyard and toasted marshmallows. Back when I was a kid, Campfire Marshmallows came in a little white boxes wrapped in a blue and white paper--not in plastic bags.

Sitting on a crate with my friends just after the sun went down, I enjoyed watching the outsides of the marshmallows blistering and browning. I love biting into the toasted marshmallows as the semi-liquid insides oozed out. Yum! Pure joy for someone with a sweet tooth.

I tried to capture that marshmallow-toasting moment when I wrote the following poem for my unpublished collection of candy poems.

By Elaine Magliaro

I pierce
two candied clouds…
a pair of whipped sugar pillows
with a wooden stick,
toast them over the campfire
till they’re warm and brown
and their insides ooze
sticky white lava
when I bite in.

NOTE: I also did quite a bit of research on the subject of sweets when I wrote the poetry manuscript. I included factual information along with the poems. I thought some of the information that I found was really interesting.

Marshmallow candy was eaten in Ancient Egypt. It was once a honey-based candy with nuts that was flavored with the sap of Althea officinalis, a perennial mallow plant that grows wild in marshes in Europe and Asia. Today, the marshmallow candy we eat is made from sugar, corn syrup, gelatin, water, and starch. Sometimes vanilla and other flavorings are added.

At Blue Rose Girls, I have an original poem titled Cool Pool.

The Poetry Friday Roundup is over at A Year of Reading.


P.S. I published a post yesterday titled Go the F**k to Sleep: What's Your Opinion of This Picture Book for Parents? I'm interested in getting people's opinions of this book that appears destined to become a really big bestseller.


Mary Lee said...


I love slipping the toasted skin off and then sending the rest back into the fire...over and over as many times as I can!

Toby Speed said...

Ah, yes, an ode to marshmallows -- the queen of summertime treats. I was going to say just what Mary Lee did about putting the insides back to toast again and again! Great poem, Elaine. I also love last week's poem about Fireballs, and wish you the best with this fun collection.

Diane Mayr said...

"Toasting Marshmallows" captured the experience just the way I remember it! Nice job!

Amy LV said...

"a pair of whipped sugar pillows
with a wooden stick,"
It's bonfire season here, and your poem rings so true. Yum! Like Mary Lee and Toby, I'm a burn-and-toaster. And SKYBAR! 'Wish you could come visit here. I'd take you to Vidler's -
with all of your favorites.
I look forward to holding this collection in my hands one day! A.