I’ve been participating in Laura Shovan’s Found Object Poem Project this month, and although I’ve missed two or three days, my brain is certainly getting a workout! It’s fascinating to see the wide variety of poems people have written in response to the same object. Even poems with similar word choice have very different tones.
My poem for today was written in response to this Found Object, shared by Linda Baie:
Although this is clearly not a corncob doll, it reminded me instantly of Little House in the Big Woods, and Laura’s corncob doll, Susan.
Bouncing along this rutted trail
toward a great unknown,
I clutch my dolly, Susan,
keeping her corncob body close.
Ma saved one cob
from last summer’s harvest
to make this dolly, just for me
after I helped her husk
the bushels of corn
Pa hauled from the field.
Corn for us to eat,
corn to grind into meal,
corn to feed our brown swiss, Bess,
so she’d share her sweet, creamy milk.
Ma sewed a little dress from scraps of calico
soft as a cloud,
blue as the summer sky,
sprigged with pink and white daisies
like those in our yard.
Fashioned a tiny muslin bonnet,
just like mine,
it’s wide pleated brim shielding our faces
from the blazing sun
as it leads us westward,
toward our new home.
© Catherine Flynn, 2016
You can read more Found Object poems at Laura’s blog. Also, please be sure to visit Kimberely Moran at Written Reflections for the Poetry Friday Roundup.
9 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Found Object Poetry”
Catherine, you and I were on the same wavelength with our thoughts but I a poem from the doll’s perspective. I plan on showing teachers the short lesson I created and the accompanying poems so I would like to include yours. The opening lines would provide students with background knowledge about the journey our west: Bouncing along this rutted trail/toward a great unknown. I think these lines would also be a great prompt for students to explore what their great unknown could be. Thanks for sharing.
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Aw, such a sweet poem. Love the second stanza especially — “soft as a cloud, blue as the summer sky” . . .
When I saw this image, I was also transported to a different, simpler time. Yet in your poem you capture the work that went into living each day. We have things so much easier now. This project has been fun, but I realized today that many of my poems have the word heart in them. What gives? I need to challenge myself to use new words. Thanks for sharing.
[…] Catherine Flynn is blogging alongside us today. Like many of us, today’s object evoked a place and time for Catherine. You can find her full post here: https://readingtothecore.wordpress.com/2016/02/12/poetry-friday-found-object-poetry/ […]
Oh, so sweet, Catherine. I love those Little House books, read each one to my own children, and when I could shared them with younger students. I love “sprigged with pink and white daisies”. You used such appropriate words for the time. I’ve never had a corncob doll, but made apple dolls for family members one Christmas, very fun to make.
I love this glimpse into the past!
Catherine- I’m not participating in the FOUND POEM project, but every day I look at the photographs and think, “OK, today I am going to write.” When I looked at this photograph, I also thought about the LITTLE HOUSE books, which were some of my absolute favorites as a child. I couldn’t remember the name of her corncob doll, but I thought of Charlotte, the rag doll. I love the image of a child, doll clutched to chest, bumping along that rutted trail!
I so enjoyed visiting the world you created with this poem, Catherine. The detail is phenomenal.
This is lovely! Catherine, you take us to Little House on the Prairie in poetry. It makes me pine for a simpler time.