Thursday, August 22, 2013

My Mother's Peignoir

I found a lovely poem here last Tuesday.  One of the best things about my recent trip was being able to visit my friend T., whose poetry I adore.  I was reading her blog and decided to investigate some of her links to blogs and found this one.

The poem is evocative, beautifully written, I think.  I also appreciate that the blogger wrote some commentary and included links to Martha's work.  As I read the poem I had a memory that I haven't thought of in decades...
1951 Vanity Fair Ad

my mother's white gossamer peignoir
was my secret pride and joy --
alone in the ranch style house
on a culd-e-sac next to plum orchards
the fabric slipped over my 10 year-old arms
and skinned knees to reveal a fairy princess.
swaying in front of her full length mirror
i danced on air and twirled into the arms of ...?
i was the most beautiful girl in the world
lost in a dream yet mindful -- for the sound of a car,
a key in the latch, the rustle of paper grocery bags,
mom calling out to her girls, "I'm home! Come help!"

I love how poems get to the heart of the matter.  Martha's poem is marvelous and though I am a amateur, I love the lines I came up with in response, and the sparking of a long ago memory.  I'll play with my doodle and see where it goes.

I was talking to a friend recently who said she didn't read poetry.  I don't think a lot of people do.  We are all victims of grade school teachers who taught poetry badly.  But I know that I was hooked into poetry at a very young age.  My astute grandmother gave me a large book of poems for a Christmas present when I was perhaps 12.  She was a school teacher.  I loved that book.  Even the poems that weren't terribly accessible to my youthful mind were fascinating to me. I had inklings of what they might mean, and that was enough.  It still is.


  1. Wonderful poem. All that beautiful, fanciful playtime. I was drawn to poetry at a very young age. Always loved the brevity and poignancy.

  2. Tara, thanks for the mention!

    (It was a lovely visit, but much too short.)

    Marvelous memory, evocative poem!
    I haven't thought of the word "peignoir" in ages — one of my older sisters had one (she married young) and I was thoroughly enchanted by it. Great details in your poem, also!


  3. Without poetry grief has no end.



  A friend is grieving the loss of her long time love and life partner.  It is wrenching, but she is remembering the good times, their trave...