The China Painters

Welcome back from the weekend to another Monday’s Poem of the Week by one of my favorite Midwest poets. My mother helped me appreciate the history and beauty of fine china, and this poem brings back some of those memories. Please enjoy!

THE CHINA PAINTERS

They have set aside their black tin boxes,
scratched and dented,
spattered with drops of pink and blue;
and their dried up, rolled up tubes
of alizarine crimson, chrome green,
zinc white and ultramarine;
their vials half full of gold powder;
stubs of wax pencils;
frayed brushes with tooth bitten shafts;
and have gone in fashion and with grace
into the clouds of loose, lush roses,
narcissus, pansies, columbine
on teapots, chocolate pots,
saucers and cups, the good Haviland dishes
spread like a garden
on the white lace Sunday cloth,
as if their souls were bees
and the world had been nothing but flowers

                        -Ted Kooser

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