Yesterday I was shucking (sweet) corn

Yesterday I was shucking corn
for supper – pulling off the green sheaths
and brushing away the silks –
and suddenly in my hand I feel the naked cob
so cool, sweet, intimate, smooth, like skin I’m holding.
And I am deeply touched with surprise and rapture.
And I think how it is to feel life in the skin,
in the touch of plant flesh (sweet milk swelling the seeds) –
and how mostly people go for days
without touching anything from the earth…
Like ivory keys
I play the kernels with my tongue:

~ M.C. Richards, from “Sweet Corn” (1994) in Opening our Moral Eye

Photo: Stephen Ritchie with i love corn on the cob


  1. As a kid, shucking corn on the farm was a pleasurable activity. I hated shelling peas, snapping beans and eyeing potatoes but I loved shucking corn for some reason.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. freddiegeorgia says:

    Simply wonderful….and such a simple thing. My mouth is watering for some sweet corn…..I’ll play the ivory keys with my tongue. Magic!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I think you should keep this and refer to it when you’re on the train into the city.😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love it…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. only in America…. 🙂 This is a culture to have passed us by! Sadly…
    I occasionally buy corncobs in the supermarket and make sure it’s fresh (well sort of). I ‘roast’ it quickly in a heavy frying pan and serve it hot with some sea salt to sprinkle over. Even though never the ‘real thing’ I find it delicious and this photo with text just made my mouth water.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Nice, repetitive, peaceful, soothing action … calms the soul!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s that time of year. Peaches and cream corn. Yum!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Yes… food should be a sensual experience… take one’s time…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. super recolta cu toate ca sunt roman

    Liked by 1 person

  10. M.C.’s beautiful poem sounds very sensual-sexual to me…and who wouldn’t want to become one with corn like that! [I’m blessed to live about 6 miles from the best corn in NJ–wish I could ship some to Kiki…] As I child I preferred every vegetable raw to when cooked–especially sweet peas. Bless my mother who let me shell and prepare all veggies when I was only 4 and 5.

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  11. This poem hit a chord with me! Nostalgia, from days on the farm!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Add my voice to the choir…sweet corn on the dinner table was a sure sign in our house that summer had arrived. My grandmother always had a big sweet corn patch when I was a kid, and my mother, too. I could make a meal of the stuff…fresh from the patch, so succulent. Think I know what we’re having for our vegetable tonight! And how I would love to ship some to Kiki…summer encapsulated!

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  13. Succulent. That’s it Lori. And frozen corn Kiki, one step above corn in a can and that ain’t saying much.


  14. Mm mm… I shucked corn from the farmer’s market and shelled peas from the garden, last night for barbecue supper, (it’s 34 degrees C here) , It is summer for sure; remembering my childhood
    at White Rock. Fresh crab, clams, and corn on the deck watching the sun go down. The sensual aspect is not lost me me now at 65, but at 10 it was just damn good eating after a full day of fun on the beach.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Christie says:

    When I was a girl I loved shucking corn…some of the sisters and grandma out on the front porch, sitting on the cantilevered rod iron benches, paper bags next to our feet, a group of communal bowls for the fresh ears…I loved the smell of the freshness and I dreamed of hot corn on my dinner plate, loads of butter (my Mom was the queen of butter) and salt and I’d consume two cobs of corn! My birthday is in the summer (I am a June, Cancer) I’d request my special birthday meal, fried chicken, corn on the cob, potato salad (w/pickles & extra egg whites) and Angel Food Cake, covered with whipped cream, twirled shaves of chocolate and bowl with fresh, sliced strawberries for spooning over the top…/// I loved running through the corn field at my boyfriends house. /// When it was corn season I was always gleeful…I would gather up the, soft, silky beautiful blond corn silk, lay it just right all lined up on the flat piece of wood that covered the wood pile…it must dry but not over dry…when it was ready the “Barbie”,”Midge” “Skipper” and “Christie” dolls had new long and shinny wigs! /// I love the photo you shared.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Mom saying, “Go get us some roastin’ ears for supper.” Then, out the gate & down the path, a dozen hopeful cats trailing behind, the whirring in-out breath of cicadas serenading the trek to the big garden. Part the browning “hair,” peel back the skin just enough to check for “done-ness,” then snap! Green perfume & the tickle of a corn caterpillar in my arms. Back to the house, squinting, as the sun slips between the trees and the pigs bang their feeders open & closed. Supper time.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Christie says:

    Every day, this summer I peer out the bathroom window to see how much the corn stalks have grown…this year we have only a hand full of stocks…such a nice green. A few years ago, when we actually had a patch of corn, with bright sunflowers inter-mixed…I’d wind my way through the garden to water the patch in early light, watch the bees start moving around, the pup lazy-n’ a cat or two wondering stopping in the path to sun bath…as I move around the patch I found ‘An Amazement’! living about 4″1/2 up the stock nestled, cupped in the hollow space of the leaf where the leaf grows out of the stock…a tiny spring green frog with golden markings which looked like living gold leaf…so amazing…I looked online to no avail to id the little beauty, no luck…I loved checking on the frog everyday and then one day he was gone…I’d hoped he’d show up again the next summer perhaps with friends, nope, a one summer Gift of Beauty….///some years we’ve grown popcorn! We’ve grown different varieties of corn including the bi-colors -the peaches and cream and of course the all yellow old variety “Golden Bantam Corn”….most years we dry corn in the food drier to add to soups (daughter loves to make from scratch Salmon Corn Chowder) or we soak the dried corn, along with dried peppers and dried tomatoes, then steam…nothing like a burst of tasting summer… I can only indulge in eating corn a few times a years, when I do I pay dearly with my health…and I so love corn…she is out standing at the blackberries, eating some and he is moving dirt…he picked cucumbers, zucchini, yellow crookneck summer squash, string beans yesterday…

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I’ve been writing for a farm magazine (of all things!) and got to interview 2 Quebec farmers (en francais) — one of whom took me into his field and explained that each strand of corn silk matches each one of the cob’s kernels — I can’t remember exactly why, but one pollinates the other?

    My point, as a hopeless city/suburban girl, is how little I knew about one of my favorite foods.

    Made corn soup last week…

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