Friday, June 28, 2013


Hello, and happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit one of the sweetest souls on the internet, Amy, at The Poem Farm for Roundup!

Today I am continuing my celebration of Valerie Worth with poems about household items. Previous posts include her poems about zoo animals and childhood play. (Not sure what next week's theme will be, but I intend to keep going with these lovely poems for a while yet. So inspiring!) Here we go...


Themselves, almost as if
They were people,
Some fat, some thin;
Settled comfortably
On their own seats,
Some even stretch out their arms

- Valerie Worth

Here is a pic of my favorite chair in the house. It once belonged to Paul's mother, Bobbie. I adored Bobbie and still miss her. A girl could not have asked for a better mother-in-law. She hand-picked this upholstery, and I love it for its color and pattern -- and in spite of the way our cats have abused it with their claws! Here is a close up of the fabric:


This clock
Has stopped,
Some gear
Or spring
Gone wrong -
Too tight,
Or cracked,
Or choked
With dust;
A year
has psed
Since last
it said
Ting  ting
or  tick
or  tock.

- Valerie Worth

They say due to cell phones and computers, clocks and watches aren't all that fashionable anymore. Who needs 'em? Oh, but I love them. Both clocks and watches. Here's a pic of one of my favorites on the house -- a favorite because it belonged to Paul's grandmother. (Same grandmother who taught me to quilt -- Ludelphia's namesake!) I think of her every time I walk through our foyer and check the time.

safety pin

Closed, it sleeps
On its side
The silver
Of some
Small fish;

Opened, it snaps
Its tail out
Like a thin
Shrimp, and looks
At the sharp
Point with a
Surprised eye.

- Valerie Worth

What seamstress does not have a healthy supply of safety pins?? And how fabulous is that image of safety pins as fish?! Love!


It starts
Out so well,
Its fresh
Gold straws
Cut square,
Flared wide,

But so often
Ends otherwise,
With weary
Wan bristles
All stubbed
To one side.

- Valerie Worth

Oh, to be a broom! Here's a pic of the one I keep perched by the front door to swat down dirt and webs and such. Weary and wan, indeed. :)


  1. Thanks for this celebration of Valerie Worth's poems. I love them for myself, but the kids in my classroom love them. They offer such a possibility of a new perspective on the world around us. SAFETY PIN alone convinced the kids (and me!) that poems hang out on every street corner and doorstep.

    1. Yes, Steve, the safety pin one is a jewel! So happy to know you use these in the classroom. Happy Poetry Friday!

  2. Good morning, Irene. This is my first introduction to Valerie Worth's work. I love the metaphor at work in the safety pin poem -- beautiful but also dangerous.

    1. Oh my goodness, Laura, you are in for a treat! Simple, elegant poems. And yes to "beautiful but also dangerous." Thanks for stopping by. xo

  3. Valerie is magical. And your pairings with photographs and prose is simply a delight, Irene. Thank you! I am celebrating some older poems on my own too...most recently those of Patricia Hubbell. There are gems, so many, that we need to bring to light. Would you like to work on such a project with me? From VW, I adore "door". Happy PF!

    1. Yes, Amy, so important to recognize these classics. I would love to work with you. :) Hope you are enjoying a happy summer. Love to you and yours. xo

  4. Swooning again over Worth's poems, Irene. And your pics and comments make them even more enjoyable. I also love clocks and watches, and who can resist precious items that belonged to loved ones? The safety pin poem is especially brilliant.

    1. Dear Jama, I know a sentimental sister when I see one. :) I like to surround myself with all these things with family history -- like being cloaked in love. So many stories! Thanks for stopping by.

  5. I love the imagery of the safety pin fish -- I've got a nice little basket of them by my sewing machine.

    1. Katya, how much do I love it that you even have a sewing machine? :)I was just cussing at mine today as it seemed to be eating the fabric from the back of a quilt piece I was working... grrr.... Thanks for stopping by.

  6. I swear Valerie Worth and Barbara Juster Esbensen must have been sisters in a previous life. Their pinpoint look at life astounds me. I sit here humbled.

    1. Charles, you and me both! Humbled, that is... so much wonderful poetry in the world. Certainly encourages one to slow down and pay attention. Happy Poetry Friday to you!

  7. Wonderful poems--especially love the shape of those chairs that "seem to sit down on themselves." And my mother had a chair just like yours! (well, different upholstery, but same chair.)

    1. Ooh, I really do like that chair! Of course it's all tied to my mother-in-law. And you have one in your family... does that make us chair sisters? :) Happy Poetry Friday, Buffy. Thanks for stopping by.

  8. Like Steve, I've used Safety Pin in my classroom, and it never ceases to inspire my kids to write poems. I love the broom one, too...and I have one just like yours hanging out by my patio as well!

    1. Tara, makes me so happy to think of students reading the safety pin one. And yes, POOR poor broom! What lives they live. Thanks for stopping by. xo

    2. Tara,
      This year I printed a picture of a safety pin that I found via a simple Google search (just a single pin with no background or anything), put it up on the easel/white board and asked the kids to tell me what they saw. We noticed a bunch of things, all interesting and cool, but then I told them I was going to read them a poem about a safety pin to help them see how poets see the world, and why someone might even want to write poetry in the first place. Their reaction to the poem, while looking at the picture, was priceless! Thanks for highlighting Worth's work, Irene!

  9. Valerie Worth, like few others, has that marvelous gift of 're-seeing' things, doesn't she? You picked some wonderful ones, Irene, & I love your personal connections to them too. This looks like an anthology coming along, with poets sharing a favorite 'thing' to go with a poem!

  10. I'm really enjoying these Valerie Worth poems!

  11. Her safety pin poem is probably my favoritest of all of hers.

    And on the subject of time and clocks -- I am an all-analog clock person. We have two chiming clocks and a bird clock. THEY tell US the time!

  12. Yay! More Valerie Worth poems! Love love love! It's such a joy that you post them each with a personal touch-- a story, a picture, a piece of you. I think I might have mentioned something similar in my comment last week, but it's worth repeating!


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