Poetry Friday: Setting the Table

Sunlight Beams onto a Table Set for Dinner
We’ve been reading a poem or two each morning from the book, My Poetry Book: an anthology of modern verse for boys and girls, selected and arranged by Grace Thompson Huffard and Laura Mae Carlisle in collaboration with Helen Ferris, illustrated by Willy Pogany. This book is the one I remember my mother reading poetry from when I was a kid of a girl.

This morning, however, I read a poem, and very mature 17-year old Dancer Daughter said, “I don’t like these kiddie poems.”

To be perfectly honest, a lot of the poetry in the book is rather sweet and sentimental, and the illustrations are, too. The collection was first copyrighted in 1934, and republished in 1956. I like it, but it may not “speak” to the young adults in the crowd. I found this one a few pages over by Dorothy Aldis, and I think everyone liked it.

Setting the Table

When the house is quiet
I delight
To spread the white
Smooth cloth and put the flowers on the table.

I place the knives and forks around
Without a sound.
I light the candles.

I love to see
Their small reflected torches shine
Against the greenness of the vine
And garden.

Is that the mignonette, I wonder,
Smells so sweet?

And then I call them in to eat.

Delight in the quotidian. I wish my table looked like that. I wish my house were quiet, ever. We’re open 24 hours here. Oh, well, I can dream.

I’ve decided, by the way, to combine Fine Art Friday with Poetry Friday and give you a poem and a picture each Friday. This photographic print is called “Sunlight Beams onto a Table Set for Dinner” by Joel Sartore, and it’s available for purchase at allposters.com.

The Poetry Friday round-up is at Big A little a.

4 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Setting the Table

  1. Oh, I love that poem. I’m going to send it to my daughter. Except her little boy thinks all candles are for birthdays and he blows them out. 🙂

  2. What a lovely combination, Sherry! I think one of the most welcoming phrases in language is “come to the table!”

  3. Beautiful. Elegant simplicity.

    Sherry, your 24-hour house sounds so familiar. I love my children, but empty nest often sounds good! Or … quiet!

    And … clean!

    Thanks for the combination! When you starting doing Poetry Friday, I thought what a nice combo poetry and art would make.


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