Clam Poetry

Clams - The All Purpose Bivalve


For unknown reasons, the poets have been essentially silent on many worthwhile topics. For example, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Edgar Allen Poe, Robert Frost, and countless others have been silent on the topics of cheese as well as clams. Now we know they ate cheese and clams, so what's up?

Here are a few clam poems:

Ode to the Bivalve

By Andrea Pellechia

Clams, clams, they have no gams
No arms nor nose nor butt.
To help them move along the sand
They use their slimy foot.

Clams, clams, misunderstood clams
Living in the sea,
I like it better when the clams
Are shucked and cleaned for me.

Sometimes we hear, "It costs 10 clams"
And wonder what that means,
Personally I don't give a damn
Since I get my clams for free.

A bivalve of the great big sea
Clams are oft much too stinky.


By Timothy Bovee

Just as happy as a clam.
Without a doubt, I am, I am.
It is a fact, to say the least,
Clam seems a very joyous beast.
You've never seen with your own eye
A maudlin clam break down and cry,
For Clam Law says when Clam is down
Clam must clam up and never frown.
A clam's mouth spreads immensely wide
From the eastern hinge to the western side.
But is it really a clammy grin
Or a gate that beckons, come all, come in?
The clammish life--it really sucks
For plankton doesn't come in trucks.
No clam can be a true aesthete;
Clam's deconstruction: Slurp and Eat.
If Clam would claim his real birthright
He'd live a life not quite so trite.
He'd burst out in a bubbly roar,
"I am a bloody carnivore!"
He eats them raw, although in truth,
Clamkind has not a single tooth
To a prideful clam comes a day surreal
When Clam becomes another's meal.
Though baked in sorrow, Clam wears a smile
That lingers for a longish while.
As does the clam, then so do I.
In shadows deep, I never sigh.
Without a doubt, I am, I am
Just as happy as a clam.


Anthem for The official Rhode Island State Shellfish

by Matthew Farrell

Oh beau-ti-ful, crus-ta-ceous life
A-bid-ing in our muck
Through what a bi-valve knows of strife
We wish you e-very luckkkkkkk

Tho' sed-i-ment, and kinds of silt
May blanket o'er your reign
Sow seeds of roe and mind your milt
Peee-ple your wet domainnnnnnnnnnnn

Behind your bulging azure eyes
Through your breathy mollusk sighs
A clammy ethos mild and meek
Your shell is strong but mind is weak.

When aenemone with stinging spine
Or jellyfish with limbs like twine
Should on your restful time impinge
You just contract--and close your hinge.

While quick seas rush and swell above
The lang'rous shellfish dreams of love
But below in lonely briney sand
His mussel amors meet faint demand

And Lo! his mournful wails expand
Across the Stygian marine land
To fill with rueful cry the oceans
With his forlorn longing a-balone notions

Though sun may shine in air-filled skies
In ombrageous acqueous torpor he lies
His love as great as ever seen. She
Now doth garnish cheese linguini......

Embittered neither, not to grow sick
From thoughts on fate: a clam is Stoic
Would suffer samely less nor mo' joy
Had she wound up upon a PoBoy...

On sunny beaches all palm-fretted
Natives drumming frond-envetted
Stew-pots boil with what they've netted
Clams seek not to be so feted

New England too, its sounds and shores
Abound in Yale and Harvard bores
Who deem it is a mark of stah-tus
To shew our friend their learned glottis

Still so some other humbler genus
Treat the clam in ways as heinous
See the otter on his back
Give the Quahog rocky whack

Seagulls using no stone mallet
No less seek clams to gift their palate
Even octopi, of man-like heart
Are known to prise their shells apart

But though many foreign nation
From his husk seeks his ablation
He cannot loathe he doth not hate
Regards placidly his fate

For when there are two halves of you
Whether in chowder or island stew
Seabird slurp or otter bang
The end is self-same, yin or yang


Hmmm, the one above reminds me of a US patriotic song. I wonder if that is one purpose? :) A wonderful poem indeed!

And now a poet/children's writer you may know, Shel Silverstein!

It's All the Same to the Clam

by Shel Silverstein
You may leave the clam on the ocean's floor,
It's all the same to the clam.
For a hundred thousand years or more,
It's all the same to the clam.
You may bury him deep in mud and muck
Or carry him 'round to bring you luck,
Or use him for a hockey puck,
It's all the same to the clam.

You may call him Jim or Frank or Nell,
It's all the same to the clam.
Or make an ashtray from his shell,
It's all the same to the clam.
You may take him riding on the train
Or leave him sitting in the rain.
You'll never hear the clam complain,
It's all the same to the clam.

Yes, the world may stop or the world may spin,
It's all the same to the clam.
And the sky may come a'fallin' in,
It's all the same to the clam.
And man may sing his endless songs
Of wronging rights and righting wrongs.
The clam just sets -- and gets along,
It's all the same to the clam.

Boots in plastic bags, please

by John Foster

That stench to clamp your heart
Air fouled and rank
Don't rip your house apart.
Confused do not that start.
It's not your septic tank.
Feet first, to fix this mess
Last summer, a good guess
Maybe glass still smeared.
That's butter, from the steamers
You dug like army dreamers *
Clam muck on boots fermented there is seared.

*Army dreamers -- WWI Brit slang for buried war dead.


by John Foster

Clams were dug.
Stains on rugs.
Mud on floor.
Beer in door.
Refrigerator full.
Stomachs, followed.
Beds were bad

Are you a clam poet? Would you like to submit some clam poetry? I suppose lobster poetry, hake poetry, and even sea anemone poetry are accepted here. We are open minded after all. Clams do grow the mind and increase imagination, or so some claim.

Share |