Poetry Friday – Sourdough Dansa Poem

Today is Poetry Friday and our wonderful host is Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe. She shares a treasure chest of poems by young poets–so inspiring!

This week, I have another poem inspired by Alan j Wright; it’s the dansa. Today I flew to my daughter Katie’s. I thought it was  appropriate to write on the topic of sourdough, since Katie and I have flown cross country with our sourdough starter, Stanley Beast. It was born in Bahrain during the Covid pandemic, April 2020 and survives today, thanks to some creative transporting. Read more about the dansa form at Alan’s post with his dansa, “Whistler in the Winter Wind”. More info on the dansa at Writer’s Digest here.


Living, breathing sourdough
Bacteria and natural yeast
Join for bread’s height increase
In French it’s levain. Hello,
Living, breathing sourdough!

Freshly baked bread, thick piece
Complex and worthy of a feast
Smell the bread, crust all aglow
Yum! Living, breathing sourdough!

Covid time birthed in the Middle East
Then to America you came, Stanley Beast
Two years later after a slight, deathblow!
No more living, breathing sourdough

But Stanley lived on, at least,
For I had shared it, so Katie beefed-
up my starter, mostly nouveau
again living, breathing sourdough

Stanley is again free to release
his magic—careful not to decease
It’s easier to digest, did you know?
It’s living, breathing sourdough

Here’s a little (read a lot) Sourdough Science that may have helped me a bit as I composed.

Clockwise: 1) Jar of Stanley Beast sourdough starter 2) 100g for a loaf of bread 3) Loaf of sourdough 4) Sliced sourdough

11 thoughts on “Poetry Friday – Sourdough Dansa Poem

  1. Your dansa chronicled your daughter’s and your Stanley journey deliciously, Denise. (LOVE the name Stanley Beast 🙂 )

  2. Yum indeed! For digestibility we also have switched to sourdough, but I’m not a baker so we buy ours. This history of Stanley is quite engaging–and thanks for highlighting the dansa form, Denise! Anti-spam word today is “or orbits”….

  3. Yum to this delicious poem and your sourdough starter! I had one going for a few years, but I froze her(?) before an extended vacation. I am thinking about trying to revive her, but now that I know about Stanley Beast, she will definitely need a name!

  4. I am SO hungry for some of your bread now! Love the poem and that you named your starter Stanley Beast.

  5. Interesting poetry form and interesting journey of Stanley Beast. That sourdough bread looks so good!

  6. I love that you captured your special history, Denise, imagine that a food magazine would love this about “living, breathing, sourdough” that includes the goodness of it!

  7. Alas, my starter is gone and I have to start over. You’ve traveled with yours! I wonder how you transported it. Congrats to keeping it going and you even wrote a poem about it!

    1. Janice, I just carried three ounces with my cosmetics. On the long flight from Bahrain (travel time was 24-36 hours, typically), I also carried a little flour to feed it once, and put it on ice when I had a chance. But read Patricia’s comment. She may have had more and explained it to the TSA agent.

  8. Delightful Dansa, Denise! The words so suitably kneaded. Sourdough bread imagery rises to greet the reader. Dansa deliciousness!

  9. Ah Denise! My starter, Baby, was born in April 2020, too. She travels with me; mostly by car, but once via airplane. Thankfully the TSA agent understood sourdough (I explained she technically is not a liquid). I haven’t bought a loaf of bread in 4 years! Love the DANSA form, too! Thank you for your poem!

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