‘It’s American Regionalist artist Grant Wood‘s birthday today and it’s being celebrated over on Echostains! American Gothic is one of the most iconic painting in the USA. Much has been written about this painting, but in some ways it remains an enigma. To read about the artist Grant Wood please see my corresponding post on echostains
Wood got the idea for the painting American Gothic from a cottage he saw which had been built in the Gothic revival style. The cottage can be seen in the background with its gothic upper window. Wood tried to imagine the sort of people who would live in such a house. He decided upon this rather stern and prim looking couple (modelled upon his own sister and his dentist). The man holds a pitchfork and stand besides his spinster sister – though some see these two as man and wife. if you look closely, the pitchfork shape is echoed in the farmers overall, the shape of the window behind him and even the shape of the mans face.. The pitchfork represents hard work. Nan (Wood’s sister) is the model for the farmers spinster sister. She is dressed in a Colonial print apron which mimic 19th century Americana. American Gothic has been parodied a great deal, but I thought it would be challenging (and fun) to write a poem about this picture. The poem can be long, short, a Haiku or even a limerick. How do you see this couple? kind? threatening? secretive? Make the poem as serious or humorous as you like. You may use my American Button if you want to 🙂
Usual rules apply;
The idea behind the challenges is to publicise Bookstains – as well as having creative fun, so it is imperative that the poet link to Bookstains to further the challenge so you MUST have a URL.. BUT, echostains is about communication – so this is a two-way street:
In return for your poem (which is always accredited to you) your poem is copied to the challenges particular page which is open indefinitely and the poets own website mentioned with a link and the poem critiqued on not only Bookstains but also on the poets own blog or website. I shall give your poem a Tweet on Twitter to further promote it. I also update my Echostains blog frequently, regardless on what the post is about – I mention if there is a new poem in the challenge.
Please note – and I only mention because I have had some of these….. If you wouldn’t put the poem on your own blog, please don’t send it to mine and expect me to promote it. This is a genuine challenge – so please play fair 😀
Here’s a humorous one from Pamanner’s Blog by WordyWoman! Her blog is about poetry, relationships, life, nature, and whatever else procreates on her computer screen. Worth checking out 🙂
forget Mary and
your four kids
keep staring at her
perky milk jugs I
swear I’ll find a
new use for that
©Pamela A. Rossow
Well I stared and I stared at this painting for inspiration, and I looked into the couples faces hoping that they would tell me their own story. I had a bit of a job getting them to spill the beans but don’t let those closed faces fool you – there’s a lot going on behind those net curtains:-
On your way stranger!
There aint nothing for you here.
You’re only courting danger,
I’m king of this frontier!
You’re talking to the fork!
And it won’t hear no blaspheming!
You’d better start to walk
(My sister – stop that screaming!)
Compose yourself my dear!
We just don’t want no trouble.
Supplies will last all year
And we got more than double.
Remember when the law came by
Twas I that they did question.
Then you produced that hot meat pie
That gave em indigestion.
I aint seen no missing folk!
I told em loud and clear.
Yet still they all would prod and poke
Which filled me full of fear.
Stranger why you standing there?
Be gone into the rain.
And while you ride, just say a prayer
That you don’t pass this way again.
©Lynda M Roberts 2011
This contribution is from Adam Dustus who has the most wonderful poetry blog, full of challenges and delights! Well worth checking our here AND with the added bonus of actually hearing the poems read by the author!
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 plum
Sprouting hawthorn of unmentionable kinds
Reckoning they did die here too
©Adam Dustus 2011
Our next unique poem is from poet and writer Jenne Rodey Andrews who has several blogs here and they are all well worth checking out too especially if you love poetry!
like laugh lines
Then losing it all at once!
It may be an American Lifestyle
To Me, it’s a Gothic trance.
To dig my own grave..
It may appeal to you as American,
But I live in a Gothic cave!
when it is for the better
She: What use is this quiet
if it becomes another fetterHe: Our boring lives will now
take on a brand new color
She: If blue turns to grey,
things can only get duller
He: Wind plays many tricks
on creaky wooden stairways
She: There’s more than just wind
in the deceptive empty hallways
He: For my safety, I have
a pitchfork turned candle holder
She: But it’s always safe
to look behind your shoulder
He: It is now all ours;
this giant old house
She: But here’s known to live
the ghost of a vicious mouse