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Christine98 Profile
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Arts and Crafts


We were given snub-nosed
scissors for chopping coarse paper
tracing patterns: Pilgrims' collar, Indian headdress

the rumble of blade against work table
was like purring in the warm room
the blue-white, peppermint tasting paste
kept the bent shapes fastened and formed

when finished. No sheen on the feather,
no drape to the cloth or snap in the leaf
A fall motif: Here's your paper pilgrim
your Indian chief

The high window open
the pane tilted inward
and joy, in search of a jewel,
expanded out.


Last edited by Christine98, Oct/8/2012, 8:35 am
Oct/7/2012, 10:07 am Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 
libramoon Profile
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Re: Arts and Crafts


"The high window open
the pane tilted inward
and joy, in search of a jewel,
expanded out."

I totally love this!
Oct/7/2012, 2:45 pm Link to this post Send Email to libramoon   Send PM to libramoon Blog
 
Christine98 Profile
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Re: Arts and Crafts


Thanks Libra, I'm glad to hear it,

Chris
Oct/7/2012, 3:45 pm Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 
Zakzzz5 Profile
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Re: Arts and Crafts


Chris,

This is a very precious poem. It combines something elemental in writing that I love. It's at once succinct, yet full of the warmth of life. Hemingway had this in some of his best short stories. Carver, too. Of the poets, I can't remember any. Maybe Frost, but I don't remember ever feeling quite the joy in reading him as I got from this. It took me back to my childhood. Wonderful. All of it is good, great, and the ending stanza is incomparable. Yet, stylistically, I think the first stanza is even better. I don't know exactly why the first stanza is so good. The precision of "snub-nosed scissors" is a clue. And the "course paper" -- not just paper, or but coarse paper. I think it is "coarse" rather than "course." Just a typo. This is an amazing poem. I hope the others agree. Zak

quote:

Christine98 wrote:

We were given snub-nosed
scissors for chopping course paper
tracing patterns: Pilgrims' collar, Indian headdress

the rumble of blade against work table
was like purring in the warm room
the blue-white, peppermint tasting paste
kept the bent shapes fastened and formed

when finished. No sheen on the feather,
no drape to the cloth or snap in the leaf
A fall motif: Here's your paper pilgrim
your Indian chief

The high window open
the pane tilted inward
and joy, in search of a jewel,
expanded out.



Oct/8/2012, 5:16 am Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
Christine98 Profile
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Re: Arts and Crafts


Thank you, Zak..."back to my childhood," is just how I felt writing it.

Thanks for catching the spelling error, I'm off to fix it,

Chris
Oct/8/2012, 8:34 am Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: Arts and Crafts


Hi Chris,

Yes, I was taken right back to childhood too! Your descriptions are spot on, and the whole poem is very tactile, which underscores the open way a child interacts with the world. The language in the poem is not only precise, as Zak points out, it is also musical, which adds another dimension to the poem and reinforces to its tactile nature in a different way.

I said that your descriptions are spot on, and they are, but I only recognize that because of the poem. I wouldn't, couldn't have remembered grade school art class so vividly without your words. That you were able to not only remember but also to recreate that time and place is exceptional, IMO, and well done. I love the fact that you have written about childhood in an honest way without going over the top and falsifying the experience with anything overly nostalgic or cutsey.

Last edited by Katlin, Oct/8/2012, 2:43 pm
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Christine98 Profile
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Re: Arts and Crafts


Thanks Kat,

Truthfully, I had serious doubts about this one and almost took it down, but it seems to be resonating and I'm gratified,

Chris
Oct/8/2012, 4:40 pm Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 
mojaveo1 Profile
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Re: Arts and Crafts


C---

i enjoyed the details and deft handling,


1. We were given snub-nosed
scissors for chopping course paper

2. Indian headdress

3.the blue-white, peppermint tasting paste

4.Here's your paper pilgrim
your Indian chief

5. The high window open
the pane tilted inward

wonderful and very realistic details, until this last line:

and joy, in search of a jewel,
expanded out.


this may be just what you want, but i ask myself what jewel are happy and productive chidren searching for?---sounds like the adults.

my memory of my friend Jim, laughing in his Indian headdress---dead 30 years later at the controls of a helicopter in Viet Nam. Judy as a Pilgrim with her own improvised dialogue, felled prematurely by a brain aneurysm, after a brilliant political career.



By Weldon Kees 1914–1955

1926

The porchlight coming on again,
Early November, the dead leaves
Raked in piles, the wicker swing
Creaking. Across the lots
A phonograph is playing Ja-Da.


An orange moon. I see the lives
Of neighbors, mapped and marred
Like all the wars ahead, and R.
Insane, B. with his throat cut,
Fifteen years from now, in Omaha.


I did not know them then.
My airedale scratches at the door.
And I am back from seeing Milton Sills
And Doris Kenyon. Twelve years old.
The porchlight coming on again.


i believe that milton sills and doris kenyon were a beloved husband and wife movie star team of the era...


my thoughts.


bernie

















Last edited by mojaveo1, Oct/12/2012, 9:36 pm
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Christine98 Profile
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Re: Arts and Crafts


Thanks, Bernie. I don't know what jewel, happy and productive children are searching for.

I was remembering my own pleasure in that creative process...just the sheer tactile, sensual pleasure as compared to the final results, which never embody/contain the joy unleashed in the process itself.
And that's been my experience ever since. I love the craft store where I buy yarn, love selecting the right color and texture, but the sweater or the afghan is always anti-climactic.

Guess I could say the same re: writing a poem. The joy is bigger than that; it wants a more perfect container.

Don't know if that makes any sense or carries over into the poem but that's what I was getting at.

Lovely Kees poem,

Chris

Last edited by Christine98, Oct/12/2012, 5:54 pm
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vkp Profile
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Re: Arts and Crafts


Christine:
This poem is delicious to me. It captures the joy that school has always had for me. As a child it was the safe place where I could be myelf. The evocation of that in these lines:
quote:

the rumble of blade against work table
was like purring in the warm room

works its magic on me.

The final lines, too, are exactly right, in my view. I know that joy that is possible when we are children, and when the windows are open, and when our hands are busy and our minds creating. (There is a reminder here that not all creative acts are creative, when they are dictated by someone in authority over us, but even so, a child's happiness cannot and will not be quenched -- at least not yet -- by expectations of uniformity.)

Anyway -- lovely job. Thanks....
vkp
Oct/14/2012, 1:21 pm Link to this post Send Email to vkp   Send PM to vkp Blog
 
Christine98 Profile
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Re: Arts and Crafts


Thanks, vkp, for your comments. It's great to see you posting, you've been missed around here,

Chris
Oct/15/2012, 8:24 am Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 
vkp Profile
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Re: Arts and Crafts


Why, thank you, Chris -- I've missed being here!
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magyproductions Profile
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I have to echo vkp's comments. It captures that happy place I remember from elementary school. The warmth and safety and coziness. The picture you paint is so evocative I can't help but feel nostalgic!
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queenfisher Profile
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Re: Arts and Crafts


dear christine

you've captured a great moment - love the detailing - i can see those tables / chairs / children bent over their work / feel the concentration / even hear the sounds - very cinematic.

& of course the window - plays such an important part of a classroom - you've captured very aptly:

The high window open
the pane tilted inward
and joy, in search of a jewel,
expanded out.

i think it's an all time classic!
Oct/26/2012, 1:34 am Link to this post Send Email to queenfisher   Send PM to queenfisher Blog
 


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