Tuesday, April 11, 2017

NPM 2017 Day Eleven: Couture

For National Poetry Month this year I am sharing poetry that celebrates my late sister-in-law and what it means to be human. These daily posts focus on traits that Pam exuded—empathy, kindness, caring, friendship, gentleness and love.

My closet is filled with black, gray, and navy. There's not a lot of color in it. Pam was my polar opposite in this regard. Her closet reflected her personality. It was vibrant, colorful, and sometimes a bit crazy. You could count on Pam to wear orange, fuchsia, red, and other bright colors. She also like paisley and floral prints and was always impeccably dressed, a trait she got from her mother.

by Mark Doty

Peony silks,
in wax-light:
that petal-sheen,

gold or apricot or rose
candled into-
what to call it,

lumina, aurora, aureole?
About gowns,
the Old Masters,

were they ever wrong?
This penitent Magdalen’s
wrapped in a yellow

so voluptuous
she seems to wear
all she’s renounced;

this boy angel
isn’t touching the ground,
but his billow

of yardage refers
not to heaven
but to pleasure’s

textures, the tactile
sheers and voiles
and tulles

which weren’t made
to adorn the soul.
Eternity’s plainly nude;

Read the poem in its entirety.

I'll leave you today with this parting shot.
Clothes as text, clothes as narration, clothes as a story. Clothes as the story of our lives. And if you were to gather all the clothes you have ever owned in all your life, each baby shoe and winter coat and wedding dress, you would have your autobiography. ― Linda Grant, The Thoughtful Dresser: The Art of Adornment, the Pleasures of Shopping, and Why Clothes Matter
Thank you for reading. I hope to see you here again tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. This poem is greatly amusing -- I, too, have often thought Our Magdalena looked a little... um... earth(l)y with her luxurious garments. The exploration of autumnal beauty in the second stanza is just as grand. Thanks for this one - I'd never encountered it.