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FURTHER READING
Poems About Mothers
Disciplines [If there is prayer, there is a mother kneeling]
by Dawn Lundy Martin
Kaddish, Part I
by Allen Ginsberg
Beasts
by Carmen Giménez Smith
Chorus
by Catherine Barnett
Exile
by Alicia Suskin Ostriker
Getting Close
by Victoria Redel
Jugglers
by Francisco Aragón
Lucky
by Tony Hoagland
Mama, Come Back
by Nellie Wong
Measurement Fable
by Rusty Morrison
Metamorphosis
by James Richardson
Mother
by Herman de Coninck
Mother
by Lola Ridge
Mother Ann Tells Lucy What Gave Her Joy
by Arra Lynn Ross
Mother o' Mine
by Rudyard Kipling
Mother's Day
by David Young
My Mother on an Evening in Late Summer
by Mark Strand
My Mother Was No White Dove
by Reginald Shepherd
My Mother Would Be a Falconress
by Robert Duncan
My Mother's Funeral
by Ira Sadoff
Parents
by William Meredith
Picking Up
by Evelyn Duncan
Poems about Motherhood
Postcards
by E. Ethelbert Miller
Postpartum
by Hiromi Itō
Rock Me to Sleep
by Elizabeth Akers Allen
She Leaves Me Again, Six Months Later
by Collier Nogues
The Player Queen
by W. B. Yeats
The Routine Things Around the House
by Stephen Dunn
The Visit
by Jason Shinder
They Call This
by C. K. Williams
To My Mother
by Edgar Allan Poe
To My Mother
by Christina Rossetti
To My Mother
by Robert Louis Stevenson
To My Mother Waiting on 10/01/54
by Teresa Carson
Untitled [A house just like his mother's]
by Gregory Orr
Wedding Cake
by Naomi Shihab Nye
With Child
by Genevieve Taggard
[Sonnets are full of love, and this my tome]
by Christina Rossetti
Other Ekphrastic Poems
Purgatorio, Canto X
by Dante Alighieri
The Iliad, Book XVIII, [The Shield of Achilles]
by Homer
All those Attempts in the Changing Room!
by Anne Stevenson
Archaic Torso of Apollo
by Rainer Maria Rilke
Die Muhle Brennt--Richard
by Richard Matthews
Hagar in the Wilderness
by Tyehimba Jess
In a Blue Wood
by Richard Levine
Incomplete Lioness
by Linda Bierds
Joseph Cornell, with Box
by Michael Dumanis
Landscape With The Fall of Icarus
by William Carlos Williams
M. Degas Teaches Art & Science at Durfee Intermediate School, Detroit 1942
by Philip Levine
Mural with HUD Housing & School Bus (1980)
by Adrian Matejka
Museum Guard
by David Hernandez
Ode on a Grecian Urn
by John Keats
On Seeing Larry Rivers' Washington Crossing the Delaware at the Museum of Modern Art
by Frank O'Hara
On Seeing the Elgin Marbles
by John Keats
On the Medusa of Leonardo Da Vinci in the Florentine Gallery
by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Photograph of People Dancing in France
by Leslie Adrienne Miller
Seeing All the Vermeers
by Alfred Corn
Stealing The Scream
by Monica Youn
The Abolition of Reality [Georges Seurat]
by Adriano Spatola
The Family Photograph
by Vona Groarke
The Mad Potter
by John Hollander
The Man with the Hoe
by Edwin Markham
The Painting
by John Balaban
The Picture of Little T. C. in a Prospect of Flowers
by Andrew Marvell
The Shield of Achilles
by W. H. Auden
To Haydon with a Sonnet Written on Seeing the Elgin Marbles
by John Keats
War Photograph
by Kate Daniels
Why knowing is (& Matisse's Woman with a Hat)
by Martha Ronk
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a woman peeling apples, with a small child

 
by Pattie McCarthy

straight off the blade she hands 

it over her small hand the long peel for divination
 
the long peel hissing like a boa constrictor         how long 
it must take to dress the daughter in all of her
 
gathers & kirtles & caps 

her pinafore pockets full of oyster shells yes


what she can't see     what hurts her eyes          & like a genre painting I'll include

the image of another             painting or         a mirror
or a dog           
                  how Vermeer preferred women working alone
 
                                        how this also      uses natural light in an otherwise unlit interior

when the old woman peels apples she's surrounded 

by circles & keeps         her book in good light             & when 
she is young it's a rich   brocade              steady hands 

a hairband & a little jut of thought in her jaw                           (see also dutch        quiet   )
About this poem:
"This poem is from 'genre scenes,' which is a series of ekphrastic poems responding to paintings of interiors and/or paintings of women working in the home. I started the series to learn more about the 17th century Dutch genre scene—including how its historical reception has reflected cultural response to the domestic."

—Pattie McCarthy






Copyright © 2014 by Pattie McCarthy. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on February 13, 2014. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.
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