THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY

THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY
April 12, 2016

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Hushed Violet Demitasse: 2014 Poetry Project

Writerly Friends, are you picturing delicate china espresso cups, with hand-painted blossoms?


Today, we are writing in response to two colors:
Hushed Violet
Pantone
® 14-3803
Demitasse
Pantone
® 19-0712
If you have no clue what I am talking about, visit this page for a full description of the Pantone Poetry Project. The short version: every day in February, we are writing in response to Pantone paint colors.

We're having fun with this exercise, stretching our creative muscles. Feel free to join in.

Today, I focused on Demitasse. The dark coffee color reminded me of traveling to the Middle East with my grandmother, Joy, when I was 21.

Cairo
by Laura Shovan

Me and Joy at a street side café,
late morning before the heat
slaps us back inside the hotel.
Our table small and round
in the blank sunlight.
Demitasse of coffee,
thick with grounds.
Her curly hair and denim skirt.
My spoonful of sweet,
evaporated milk. Her blouse –
a white shirt of my grandfather’s.
I stir with a doll-sized spoon,
tell her I’ve figured out a shortcut
to calculate her age: Whatever
I am plus fifty years.
Before us, the city is slow
to move its ancient bones.

Coffee lover Diane Mayr also wrote in response to Demitasse.

Posted with the author's permission.
In addition, Diane wrote a fictional character sketch for Hushed Violet. Visit Diane's blog, Random Noodling, on Poetry Friday for an illustrated version of this poem.

Hushed Violet
by Diane Mayr

Amongst the pages
of a novel never read,
a single pressed flower
violet and hushed.

Her plan was to
preserve that first
day, to remember it
always, yet she learned

how quickly the blush
of a petal fades when
it becomes trapped
between two sheets.

Poet Patricia VanAmburg captures the quiet tone of Hushed Violet in her poem. The color seems to lend itself to portrait poems.

hushed violets
by Patricia VanAmburg

alone in a cat-less room
the old lady talks to
her plants
hands vined with age
stroke minute hairs on
soft leaf underbellies
there now she soothes
don’t cry
all by herself
the plant lady
hushes her violets 

My grandmother always had an African Violet
on her windowsill.

Another grandmother appears in Margaret Simon's poem "Demitasse Moment." Margaret used both of today's colors as inspiration. See her blog, Reflections on the Teche, for a post about the Pantone Poetry Project. 

Demitasse Moment
by Margaret Simon

Grandmother would serve coffee,
thick as black tar
in a porcelain demitasse cup
small enough to fit
in my delicate youthful hand.

Today her cups are displayed
in the antique pie safe,
painted in hushed violet,
waiting for that simpler time
when a cup of coffee and a Danish
were all you needed to calm the afternoon,
when Grandmother held
my hand next to her heart
and said, “Don’t forget to listen.”

Posted with permission.

And a final memory poem for today. Poet Linda Baie points out that we're getting a lot of flavors along with our colors.

A Visit In Which I Learn The Word "Demitasse"

In Great-Grandmother’s parlor
stiff in taffeta and lace,
I’m given a place upon
a velvet chair.
The teapot with drinking chocolate
fills our cups
and my memories
of spring-flowered demitasse,
décor of grace,
remain.

My taste has
uncommon adventures here.
Lemon cake adds
excitement, but
“Take the smallest piece always,”
Great-Grandma says.
She lifts her cup like a holy grail
says these pretty words:
“Bon appetite, my sweet one.”
And it’s my first “pretend”
tea party.


Linda Baie © All Rights Reserved


I'm excited about Day 5's trio of colors. Remember Jane Elkin, whose book World Class: Poems Inspired by the ESL Classroom was our Poetry Friday feature? Well, she's trying on some clothes in tomorrow's drab tones. 

I'll also share a poem from Margaret Simon's new book, Illuminate that calls to mind, for me, the color Bronze Mist.

Your Pantone®  Poetry Project, Day 5 colors are:

Zinc
Pantone
® 17-2601
Aloe
Pantone
® 17-0620

Bronze Mist
Pantone
® 17-0843

9 comments:

KURIOUS KITTY said...

Again, another awesome effort! Isn't this fun!

LInda Baie said...

Wow-I love the "flavor" that these colors are bringing Laura. I too wrote about a memory.

A Visit In Which I Learn The Word "Demitasse"

In Great-Grandmother’s parlor
stiff in taffeta and lace,
I’m given a place upon
a velvet chair.
The teapot with drinking chocolate
fills our cups
and my memories
of spring-flowered demitasse,
décor of grace,
remain.

My taste has
uncommon adventures here.
Lemon cake adds
excitement, but
“Take the smallest piece always,”
Great-Grandma says.
She lifts her cup like a holy grail
says these pretty words:
“Bon appetite, my sweet one.”
And it’s my first “pretend”
tea party.
Linda Baie © All Rights Reserved

Margaret Simon said...

I love nesting among these wonderful poets. I raise my demitasse to you all (and a mega-mug to Diane!)

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

Such a wonderful project, Laura, with equally wonderful results!

LInda Baie said...

I was especially hooked this time with two of the colors, & can't do more because I'm off to a conference after today. I'll try to read everyone's though! Here's mine for Wednesday the 5th!

Finding Face

From aloe to zinc,
she bought her beauty
at the nearby Walgreen’s,
filling the cart
with an alphabet of
make-up,
rejecting Mother Nature’s
paint job.
Linda Baie ©All Rights Reserved

Diane Mayr said...

"from aloe to zinc"

I love this, Linda! Brilliant!

LInda Baie said...

Thanks Diane-the minute I saw the A to Z, I knew what I'd write. It helped that I just was at the store! Hope your weather isn't too bad!

Patricia VanAmburg said...

Commodity Market (for zinc)

I asked by broker to buy
silver and gold but he
only offered shares of
mining and manufacture—no
now I need a krugerrand
in my hand—and some
100% non-toxic zinc sinkers
that won’t leach like lead
or words from my dead father:
“Don’t take any wooden nickels.”

Patrica said...

oops that's my broker, sorry