Thursday, April 21, 2016

ARTSPEAK! 2016: Poem #21 "Fruit Jar"

Hello, and welcome to day 21 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 Jan at Bookseedstudio 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:

"Child in the Garden" after The Artist's Garden at Vetheuil by Claude Monet
"Math Lesson (from the Garden)" after Still Life with Lemons and Oranges wit Blue Gloves" by Vincent van Gogh
"Gardening Basics" after The Watering Can/Emblems: the Garden by Roger de La Fresnaye
"Mary in the Garden" after Reading in the Garden by Pompeo Mariani
"This Wheelbarrow" after A Woman Emptying a Wheelbarrow by Camille Pissarro
"A Dream of Sheep" after Warm Afternoon by Winslow Homer
"Harvest" after The Last Days of Harvest by Winslow Homer
"Anticipation (in the Garden) after George Moore in the Artist's Garden by Edouard Manet
"Gathering Fruit" after Gathering Fruit by Mary Cassatt
"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 is such a simple, lovely image... "Fruit Jar" by J. Howard Iams. I decided my poem should be simple, too. And since today is also Spiritual Journey, Thursday, and the topic is REJUVENATION, I thought I'd try to incorporate that idea into today's poem.

The truth is, I'm in dire need of rejuvenation. It's been a busy season, full of wonderful things, but my most authentic self is far more solitary and private. 

One thing that helps me during these busy seasons is to remember that it is indeed, just a season. Sometimes I can blow a thing up so big in my mind, and then, when I really look at it, it's not season, but 6 six weeks. And not even 6 solid weeks, but 5 trips. And when you add up all those days, it's actually less than two weeks! 

The other thing that really helps me is to take care of myself each and every day – to make sure I take breaks and look at the sky and meditate and get good sleep. These moments help to rejuvenate me in small ways, while still allowing me to appreciate the experience of each day. 

I'm so, so grateful to be invited to do the thing I love best – connect with readers. I don't want to X that out of my life, just because my most authentic self is far more solitary and private. I just need to keep being in touch with myself, and with the moment. AND, it's important for me to schedule major rejuvenations when possible! Which is why I am retreating with dear friends at the end of this month/first of May.  

Fruit Jar

When winter

pull me
from the shelf

open the top

and catch
a sudden

of summer.

- Irene Latham
Listen to the poem on Soundcloud!


  1. Irene,
    Interesting that you say this! When you read my post, you'll see I'm feeling the same way. I'm taking a little time away from SJT to rejuvenate, but I'll be back - hopefully with some good topics and thoughts. Love your fruit jar poem!

  2. I think it's interesting that many of us blogger/ poets are introverts. I have to remember that about myself and give myself the needed time. I also have to break out and be outgoing every once in a while. Like dancing. Being with others restores my soul too. I can taste that breath of summer in your poem.

  3. This poem reminds me of the peaches my grandmother used to can and how much I loved their soft sweetness. Enjoy your well-deserved retreat!

  4. fruit jars are for the young... I remember how I would can ... green beans, pickles, tomatoes, jelly and jams... lots of jelly and jams. Now it's hardly worth all the work for just two. Still love to garden, will until I can't ... love fresh veggies without any additives except God's blessing.


Your thoughts?