Friday, June 10, 2011

Poetry Friday: Supper

 I heard this lovely poem on The Writer's Almanac the other day (the poet, April Lindner, also writes in another of my favorite genres, YA novels).


Turn the knob. The burner ticks
then exhales flame in a swift up burst,
its dim roar like the surf. Your kitchen burns white,
lamplight on enamel, warm with the promise
of bread and soup. Outside the night rains ink.
To a stranger bracing his umbrella,
think how your lit window must seem
both warm and cold, a kiss withheld,
lights strung above a distant patio.
Think how your bare arm, glimpsed
as you chop celery or grate a carrot
glows like one link in a necklace.
How the clink of silverware on porcelain
carries to the street. As you unfold your napkin,
book spread beside your plate, consider
the ticking of rain against pavement,
the stoplight red and steady as a flame.

-- April Lindner, from Skin. © Texas Tech University Press, 2002.  (Above:  Automat by Edward Hopper.)

More Poetry Friday at Picture Book of the Day.


MrsDarwin said...

Very evocative. I love glancing into windows as I pass by -- not as a form of snooping (exactly) but just to get a glimpse of how Other People Live. Lit windows in the evening are magnetic.

Pentimento said...

Yes. It also puts me in mind of the kind of secret thrill one gets sometimes when eating alone. Or at least that I used to get sometimes.

jama said...

Fabulous poem and perfect photo! You've whetted my appetite for more of April's work :). Thanks!

Enbrethiliel said...


It's beautiful! =D

April Lindner recently wrote a modern-day retelling of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, entitled simply Jane. I was already planning to read it, but knowing that she writes so evocatively and hauntingly is also heartening.

Pentimento said...

I know, Enbrethiliel, I totally want to read it too.

Melanie B said...

I'm so glad you posted this because the first time I saw it my eyes slid right over the words and it didn't register at all. You pushed me to read again and oh it was worth it.

I love how the potential loneliness and isolation of the solitary supper are made warm and cozy by the stranger in the rain looking in the window.

I do rather miss eating alone. I like that "secret thrill". The way you can become the hero of your own private drama.

I also love glancing into windows as I walk past. It's mesmerizing isn't it?

Pentimento said...

Yes, it is. : )