Saturday, November 13, 2010

What Patterns Do You See? Poem #228

Quilt from Prairie Piecegoods in Florence, Nebraska
Photo by Amy LV

Last week I taught a workshop in Omaha, Nebraska, quite far from home.  I've been there before, but on the way from the airport to the hotel, the car got lost.  (It was was trying to think of poem ideas.)  Anyway, I decided not to stop for directions until a most interesting shop presented itself...and in the small town of Florence, Nebraska, Prairie Piecegoods appeared.  This enchanting store is a cross between the Olesons' shop from the LITTLE HOUSE books and a museum, and I could not get enough.

New Favorite Shop
Photo by Amy LV

 Inside Prairie Piecegoods, Florence, NE
Photo by Amy LV

Owner Connie Rose (who could not have a prettier name) allowed me to take all kinds of photographs from spool jars to buttons to fabric bolts.  What did I buy?  Some underwear buttons, a blue mason jar, and some popping corn...still on the ear.  Connie wrapped these wares into a brand new potato bag, and I was off toward Omaha.  I will post more of these photos someday.

Students - I remember patterns from the old linoleum floor in my childhood kitchen, our blue floral couch, my pink rose wallpaper.  I remember the pattern on a sweater Aunt Kay knitted for me, my first button-to-the-side plaid blouse, our old purple chair.  My husband and I have talked about tracing patterns with our eyes over and over until they became ingrained in us.  Do you do this?  What do you see?  Today's poem, "Everywhere Patterns", came from simply this - what I see.  Oftentimes we are so used to our daily lives that we might not realize what we see.  Yet these objects, these patterns and bowls and blankets, these windowsills and lilac bushes and skyscrapers full of windows are worthy, indeed, of writing.

Here is a gorgeous book by Cynthia Rylant about seeing.

As a student at Geneseo, I remember my friend and roomie, Stacey Buck, sharing that her favorite poem was "Patterns" by Amy Lowell.   I have thought of this so many times since those college years.

(Please click on COMMENTS below to share a thought.)


  1. Amy! You really are a kindred spirit. I too love Amy Lowell's "Patterns" and in fact it was once one of my selections for Poetry Friday way back in 2006. :)

    Your poem and the photo are beautiful. I love quilts and handwork of all kinds. I would love to visit that little shop someday!

  2. The car got lost. Heh heh.... :~)

  3. Melissa, You would love that shop! I felt so lucky to stop by...and what a treat to read your 2006 post. 2006 - wow! I love handwork I thought of you as I felted a little sheep.
    Mary Lee, You got that. Ha! Yes, cars always get lost when I'm at the wheel. I hope to see you at NCTE. 'Just looking at that ENORMOUS book now. Safe travels!