The following post for One Shot Wednesday is also my response to the latest Bookstains Poetry Challenge. The challenge is write a poem about Grant Wood’s iconic painting American Gothic. If interested in participating, then click here for details.
Approximately 650 miles from Winesburg, Ohio Much nearer sticks to hospitable care When boring wood lampooned beliefs You may feel free Bury me there
Ulysses & Grant would go home again Iowa forgiving prodigal pride Blond Emily Dickinson stares into oblivion
Poseidon’s prop gripped by father time
Behind them lies someone’s home Spring arresting American plume Sprouting hawthorn of unmentionable kinds Reckoning they did die here too
Incredibly interesting artist, Grant Wood. Studied in Europe then returned to his roots. Took an awful lot of heat for this one, yet he found acceptance in the end when people began to interpret the painting more as an homage to hard working folk. Personally, I love the ambiguity of paintings like this one. Lynda selects excellent subjects for her challenges. Thanks, Claudia.
This painting was given to us by a wiseacre friend when we got married and now hangs in a spot of honor in our bathroom. Your poem does it more than justice–great great wordplay on the names, and that line “Blond Emily Dickinson” really got me. I’ve always had a fondness for this work of art, and your poem kind of echoes the ambiguity you mention. I can see them buried in the backyard quite easily.
Such a different photo to write to, yet one that Americans know well. I too liked “Poseidon’s prop gripped by Father time”. Very well done and clever wordchoice used. Thank you for sharing! ~Corbie Sinclair
He has the look of *I’ve been married far too long* she has the look of *jail would have been far easier*. together they make a miserable pair. Emily Dickinson would have smiled at one point or another one would hope! Might try this next week see if time and health allows. As always Adam I reiterate what I said on Petes blog been reading you for over a year, made me want to blog art and poetry. Just wanted to say cheers x
smiles. thank you …as an aside, the people who posed for the painting (and not in front of the house) are supposed to represent a father and daughter—that’s where part of the controversy occurs b/c many interpret them as a couple with a healthy age gap between them.
Lots of mileage obtained by this line: Ulysses & Grant would go home again
I just have to admire it. Tridents and Poseidon too…there’s a little Greek and Italian homage buried in both your work and his. Lovely.
Ah, always entertaining to see one art stir another – and American Gothic’s one of those I’ve always been curious to see people’s interpretations of the story behind. Enjoyed the word play, and the solid references – quirky and entertaining image, Dustus!
What a fine fiiiine take on this amazing piece of art, Adam.. you really inspire me to take up the challenge myself!!
The pictures you have painted with your words here totally match up to the real thing too 🙂
Quirky and witty.. now that’s yet another facet of your amazing poetry that I’m seeing today!!
your words remind me of wood chips and dustus
floating through the air like brown metal rustus*
if in the garden he be adam, would she be the daughter of eve?
‘twas that devl’s pitchfork that tempted them to leave…
she thinks, ‘he never smiles, he looks like a dork…
i would feel safer if he’d put down that fork!’
all i said was, ‘…i’m your daughter, you’re my dad…
still, that’s the worst haircut you ever had!’
*this is a good thing, said the footnote to the toe
through the winds of time good stories blow.
good stuff adam! i will never look at this iconic painting in the same way.*
Was it something he said? I’ve always wondered. The pitch fork was his last defense. Don’t know much about the painting otherwise. So some of the references I would have to google. From the comments though those in the know gave great appreciation.
like others here, i enjoyed the new look at this old familiar painting, through your words. also liked hearing you read it. it helped me hear the short, almost choppy, rhythm, which in turn gave me a feeling of heartland simplicity.
Heh, heh. Fun poem! Gothic in its own right. Love how you pulled in several American icons and cultural references. And as always, your language and syntax are striking, inimitable really. Great one shot!
Love the silly nature of this image (and also a slight creepy too…I dunno maybe something to do with the pitchfork in hand sense….I know farming…but still…lol) Incredible always Adam “Blonde Emily Dickinson stares into oblivion” can really feel something drawing in that line…well it’s entire structure…wonderful work! Such a cool challenge too!!! 🙂 ~ April
I thought they unburied them so they could pose! Seriously though, another wonderful write, Adam. This particular painting has always irked me for some reason, but with your piece below it, I almost feel sympathy rather than distaste. Loved the first stanza…bury me there 🙂
There is an energy in the turn of the one
“bury me there”
wow….I couldn’t get over that line
started writing my own poem with that line
….good poem…but that line
I was expecting to have it repeated
Razor blade sharp the way you worked in so many references bound not only by geography but by the movement of time through the poem. Learned a wiki’s worth about the picture just from reading through the comments but you’re poem does it justice in a way I’ve never quite seen before. It is a very positive use of the iconography of the image spread out in sort of a tableaux of Americana mixed in with several great classical reference points. You must have really put some sweat into writing this one. Very impressive piece. Take care,