Tuesday, May 3, 2011

apron

Smoldering Fires, Clarence Holbrook Carter, 1904-2000
Columbus Museum of Art


Apron

      for Alice Pullen Hanna, 1914-1970



I sleep burrowed in gingham,
a cabbage roll swallowed

in a mix of stove grease
and her own warm

uncorseted scent,
unspoken balm,

quiet like the still
before a Dog Day storm.

Church hymns spoon
heat in the summer kitchen

and Hoosier light,
savory from the night sun,

shines from the back door
out through the front.



Tess Kincaid
May, 2011



87 comments:

  1. Lovely. Love the picture as well with the train in the background.

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  2. Yes, this is lovely. Thanks so much.

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  3. Yes - I really liked that poem, Tess. How evocative.

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  4. wonderful painting! new artist for me. the poem is a lovely lullaby. quiet and evocative. "I sleep burrowed in gingham." wonderful

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  5. Surrounded by love and hope, that's what this feels like..beautiful!

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  6. *** The word apron is from the metanalysis of the term "a napron" as "an apron". *** (Wikipedia)
    And you found its true meaning, the "Secret Life of Apron". ;-)

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  7. this poem makes me feel safe, like a small child in a mother's arms. i love it.

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  8. I like your verse very much Tess. Well stated. It is interesting how much difference all of these verses see soemthing different in the picture.

    Lisa
    InspiredbyLisa

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  9. Oh how I love aprons. Do you have one of your grandmother's gingham's? I am lucky enough to have a few, and am working on resurrecting the return of the vintage. I love this post. Thank you.

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  10. you have taken me places so easily, as though i was waiting for just this poem.

    xo
    erin

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  11. I love these cozy, vintage images, and the surprising and wonderful revelation of the final tercet.

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  12. Tess I love how you "paint" with the words that atmosphere.

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  13. Merisi, you know how much I love etymology and metanalysis. I had to Google apron and do some further digging. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  14. Leslie, I remember one certain apron of my grandmothers, very clearly. I wish I had it. Sadly, she died of heart disease at the all too young age of 56. It was probably dispensed of somewhere along the line, but it is indelibly stamped in my heart.

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  15. This has the feel of a personal memory. I had to look up Hoosier - a new word for me.

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  16. Damn good poetry, Tess. This scene ... I feel it, smell it, see it.

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  17. This beautiful piece took me back to the safety of my Austrian Omi's arms.

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  18. This might be one of my favorites -- the painting and the poem -- luminous.

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  19. 37 seconds, a few stanzas, and yet
    it evokes everything of our heritage,
    and our deepest love for mothers
    and grandmothers. Love the lines
    /quiet like the still/before the
    Dog Day storm/ where you inject
    menace into the solace, where all
    the nostalgia one can muster
    becomes tinged with alacrity.

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  20. You created a masterpiece with words ........

    I have aprons my mother made years and years ago ~ I treasure them.

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  21. what a lovely poem Tess. and such a gorgeous painting

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  22. A most evocative piece... ringing of memories of times long ago.

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  23. Nice. Makes me think of my grandmother.

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  24. I love this, Tess... especially "quiet like the still
    before a Dog Day storm."

    ~laurie

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  25. I love this, Tess.
    One of my grandmothers died in 1970, and this made me think of her.
    — K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

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  26. amazing words .. you gave life to the image ..

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  27. You continue to outdo yourself. From picking the perfect image--to words:

    "I sleep...in a mix of stove grease
    and her own warm
    uncorseted scent,
    unspoken balm..."

    You OWN your language, Tess!

    AND you shine "...from the back door
    out through the front."

    Sincerely!

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  28. I love your poem, Tess. I gave it a shot. You have a deft, evocative touch! xxxj

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  29. A wonderful tribute to Alice. Our daughter has an apron made by her great great aunt, which she obviously treasures.

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  30. I have been looking for the right word to describe this wonderful piece....still struggling, but I am going to go with "lyrical." It just carries the reader along as the image is woven together. (BTW...this image really flummoxed me...had to go off on a tangent). Vb

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  31. What a wonderful, Proustian memory. Beautiful, Tess!

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  32. I love the cabbage roll, all the comforts of home.
    ~Brenda

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  33. Wonderful, Tess.
    I could almost smell this :)

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  34. Nothing evokes a homey atmosphere quite like cabbage! When we eat it, it usually means a family night in with board games as no one else really wants to be around us after we consume vast amounts of cabbage. All but my husband that is, he doesn't like it... but he has now choice to hang with us. Lovely poem, of course.

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  35. Tess, this a masterpiece. So apt are the words to the is picture. You have created such a reality between the two.

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  36. beautiful poem Tess. All the things I was going to say have been said above.

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  37. Very evocative indeed! Lovely..

    Thank you for putting this up for all of us to jump in! :D

    Hugs xox

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  38. Willow,
    Reminds me of my great aunt Nellie: the only grandmother I ever knew.
    rel

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  39. Great words. But what a strange painter was Carter. He seems to have plagiarised almost every artist from Wyeth to Magritte.

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  40. Cro, Carter is more well known for his later, more simplistic and surreal pieces. Click on his name in the photo caption for a link.

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  41. her own warm
    uncorseted scent

    Those words evoke an intense sort of memory in me. Whether I am the child or the woman, I don't know, but it really resonated with me.

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  42. "Church hymns spoon
    heat in the summer kitchen". Lovely.

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  43. Richly cultural and powerfully conveyed tatile truths. Some soft, some hard; the proving ground of motherhood in the American situ.

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  44. This is so great.
    I did love that church hymns line and the beautiful feeling throughout. Nice tribute!

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  45. greetings lady willow - loved this beautiful post - have a glorious day!

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  46. Beautiful piece, Tess, what a great picture.

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  47. ...in a mix of stove grease
    and her own warm
    uncorseted scent...loved esp. these lines...so much comfort in there..

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  48. this is so rich in warmth, in comfort, in home. i tried to pick a favorite line but i like them all so much...

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  49. tess this is so entirely american and lovely and soft and graceful for it! steven

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  50. Such a peaceful picture you paint for us Tess - a soothing bit of art, and, as steven said before me, so wonderfully American...

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  51. Evocative. Loved the picture as well.

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  52. Hi! Willow...
    Your poetry is..."beautiful!"
    Your imagery is..."vivid"
    (Of an apron.)
    Your voice is.."sweet"
    and the painting is..."nice."
    Thanks, for sharing!
    DeeDee ;-D

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  53. Your poem makes me think of visits with my own grandmother. Nice!

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  54. The painting is so lovely and representative of an era as is your wonderful poem. I can just picture myself there!

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  55. the feeling of softness -- barbara

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  56. You really say a lot hear and make tremendously powerful images with few words. Your two-line stanzas are very effective and every word here is absolutely precise.
    Love it.

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  57. You have a unique and most beautiful vision of the world my friend Tess.

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  58. I love the softness and grace in this poem. Beautiful!
    Cheers
    Padmavani

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  59. This poem is touches emotions deeply, as does the painting.

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  60. This was as beautifully rich in imagery as the sort of food I imagine your tributee would've cooked. And in so few words and lines. Excellent poem.

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  61. hi tess-- you're drowning in comments here but I love this-- the particulars are unique and the poem intensely evocative... xj

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  62. Hope comes with love and belongs to life, excellent written and great image.

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  63. Your poem touched me! I sensed My Mother and Sister in your words, both long gone and I felt comforted and Loved! Thank You!

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  64. Readers have covered all sentiments, but the sense of comfort stands out for me; amazing considering that the photo seems to portray the opposite (in my view.

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  65. hmmm...I feel safe and sound after listening to your reading of this exquisite poem. Congrats on the new chapbook - I will have to check it out. (and fyi, I have cherokee roots, too :)

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  66. Tess, I will be 65 in November. You have brought back for me the feelings evoked by my fraternal grandmother, someone whom I loved dearly. I have not seen her since I was about 3 years old. Thank you.

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  67. Evocative and powerful. Wonderful.

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  68. Yes. I could have seen it, even without the picture.

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  69. Perfect, Tess. Dad's listening to opera in his room and the music melts beautifully with your words and art. I agree with Steve E, you do own language, hone it and carve it, tenderly.
    How can anyone ever follow such a piece, tell me that?!!

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  70. Your details are perfect. Excellent! :D

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  71. Picture a classic and worded perfection.

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  72. Uncorseted scent...lovely!

    Beautiful images, Tess. Thank you, and Happy Mother's Day!

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  73. Your imagery is always amazing Tess....this is a wonderful tribute to someone special in your life. :-)

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  74. "shines from the back door/out through the front"
    Yes, it does. A lovely, quiet tribute, and a beautiful evocation of a place and time. Thank you.

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  75. Short, but in terms of a sense of time, place and almost pungent atmosphere, punching way above its weight. One of your best, Tess.

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  76. Of course it is gorgeous. But more than that, how perfect for the painting, for Mother's Day, and as a tribute poem.

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  77. I LOVE this poem, Tess. It's a world of senses. My aunt married a Pullen in N.J.
    Hope you're well. The photo of you and your first born is the perfect accompaniment to that powerful quote.
    Now go eat some taters. (Wish I had some!)
    Catherine

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Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)