TAKE HEART: A Conversation in Poetry

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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.

Ellen Taylor

Ellen M. Taylor’s work has recently appeared in literary journals across the country and the West Indies. Her latest collection of poems, Floating, is available from Moon Pie Press. Taylor teaches literature and Women’s Studies at the University of Maine at Augusta, and lives with her husband in Appleton, Maine.

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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