Take Heart 25 April 2012

Posted Wednesday, April 25, 2012 in Culture

Take Heart 25 April 2012

A Conversation in Poetry

edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine poet laureate


“For all the time poets — especially female poets — spend on domestic chores,” writes Ellen Taylor of Appleton, little of their poetry “includes those activities.” With today’s poem about spring cleaning, she helps set things right.


Spring Cleaning

by Ellen M. Taylor


Why are there no poems of the joy

of vacuum cleaning after a long


winter? Of the pleasure of pulling

the couch back, sucking up cobwebs, dead


flies, candy cane wrappers, cookie crumbs?

The sun rises earlier now, flooding


the room with daffodil light, enough

to see long unseen clumps of dog hair,


wood ash, needles from holiday greens.

The vacuum crackles over a spot


of gravelly dirt, until at last

the carpet pile is clean, floorboards gleam.


Then, the bliss when the machine is pressed off,

no sound left but the tick, tick of the clock.



Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2009 by Ellen M. Taylor. Reprinted from "Floating," Moon Pie Press, 2009, by permission of Ellen M. Taylor. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to David Turner, special assistant to the Maine poet laureate, at poetlaureate@mainewriters.org or (207) 228-8263.

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