Tuesday, April 12, 2016

ARTSPEAK! 2016: Poem #12 "Gathering Fruit"

Welcome to day 12 of my National Poetry Month poem-a-day-project ARTSPEAK! in which I respond to images found in the online collections at the National Gallery of ArtPlease join me, if you feel so inspired! 

But first, please visit Michelle at Today's Little Ditty to see how our Progressive Poem is progressing!

This year's ARTSPEAK! theme is "Plant. Grow Eat." It was inspired by the release of my latest book FRESH DELICIOUS: Poems from the Farmers' Market.

Here are the poems so far:

"Bread's Lament" after Boy with Basket of Fruit by an unknown American artist
"After the Fire" after Ruined Farm by Hubert Robert
"Cow at the Gate" after Landscape with Open Gate by Pieter Molijin
"I Am the Plate" after Still Life with Milk Jug and Fruit by Paul Cezanne
"Courtship (According to the Cat)" by Winslow Homer
"Courage" after Planting Corn by Stanley Mazur
"Orchard Barber Shop" after Gardener Pruning a Tree by Jacques Callot
"Gardener's Companion" after The Watering Can by Georges Seurat
"Triolet for Planting Day" after The Artist's Garden at Eragny by Camille Pissarro

Today's poem was tough for me! I adore work by Mary Cassatt... all those lovely domestic scenes, often of mother and baby... and I wasn't sure what fresh and surprising I could bring to this piece. Then I thought about the title, how there are all kinds of "fruit"... I'll want to revisit this one in the future, but for now, here's where I've landed:

Gathering Fruit

Skirts swish
the day

as she climbs
the ladder

and pears
like churchbells:

Please, O please
Pick me!

But Baby
doesn't hear
or see

one face
going away,
coming back again –

Mama, Mama.


  1. Just like Mary Cassatt, you've created a beautiful image, Irene. I love what you've done, those "church bell pears" & "one face/going away, coming back again".

  2. I like the way you've captured the feelings of the baby, and the mother with a task at hand. Well done!

  3. Being in the mind of Baby is exquisite.
    I wish M. Cassatt were alive to know of this special poem.


Your thoughts?