Thursday, April 2, 2015

ARTSPEAK! Poem #2 "Sewing Chair"

Hello, and welcome to day #2 of ARTSPEAK!, my 2015 Poem-a-Day Project for National Poetry Month 2015, in which I am writing from images found in the online collections of the National Gallery of Art and focusing on dialogue, conversations, what does the piece say?

Today's piece is "Sewing Chair" by Dorothy Johnson.

Don't you just love this lonely little chair? I imagine it has so many stories to tell!

The story I wanted to tell came really quickly. Since poetry is about revealing things, I wondered, what secrets does this chair harbor? I'm not certain, but I think the chair has a rush seat... and in my experience rush seats are quite the invitation for dust and insects and who knows what else. I immediately got a picture of a fat, happy spider living quite comfortably on the underside. What nice company for this chair, and how wonderful to have a purpose in life-- even if it is not the purpose for which one was originally designed.

And now that I've posted this, I think I've found a better title: "Old Chair" or "This Old Chair." It's important to me that these poems stand alone (without the art), and there's really nothing about sewing in the poem I've written. So, something to think about! Don't you love how poems are constantly evolving?


  1. Oh, what a neat chair! So proud of its other life, its other job as roof for that fat, happy spider. This is a wonderful series, Irene. I am really enjoying following along! xo, a.

  2. I love that the spider changed the whole purpose of the chair. Great prompt and poem.

  3. Sweet chair, lovely poem! And I don't particularly like spiders. :)

  4. Is it a Charlotte Web type spider or a Harry Potter type spider??

    Sitting on my favorite chair,
    Combing Molly Dolly’s hair,
    Listening to evening rain
    Washing out this morning’s pain
    I’m sorry Mom I got mad,
    I can’t stop thinking of Dad.

    (c) Charles Waters 2015 all rights reserved.

  6. I especially enjoy hearing about your thought process and I like the surprise ending, something I always suggested to my third graders to get them to consider how a poem might send you in a different or intriguing direction. I like how you want your poems to be able to stand alone. Lovely.
    Janet F./Janet Clare on FB

  7. There are only three, but this is my favorite so far!

  8. I love the idea of another home beneath the chair! So very clever!


Your thoughts?