Friday, April 14, 2023

NPM 2023 - Poem 14

My poem for Day 14 of National Poetry Month is written to the illustration Sowing and Reaping in Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, (1863 May 23), p. 141. The poem focuses on the right side of the image.

The Richmond Bread Riot
April 1, 1863

In the third spring of the war
a nation of farmers
was starving

hungry women took the lead
took to the streets
wielding  clubs and knives
axes and hatchets

they marched on
the Governor's mansion
discontent, angry

quiet determination turned
to chaos as chants of
"Bread or blood!"
echoed through the streets

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2023. All rights reserved.

I hope you'll join me tomorrow for my next poem highlighting a piece of history. You can read the previous poems as images on Instagram or at the links below. Each one is listed according to the primary source that inspired it.

April 1 - Sketch map of White Oak Swamp and vicinity southeast of Richmond.]; 6/1862; Records of the Office of the Chief of Engineers, Record Group 77 
April 2 - John Wilkes Booth's calling card
April 3 - Section of the city code of Montgomery, Alabama, requiring segregation on buses
April 4 - 1917 poster showing Liberty presenting a sword "Service" to a young woman
April 5 - Sheet music cover for Votes for Women: International Suffragists' Song
April 6 - Teachers' Monthly Report and Rules (1865): Narrative School Reports from Teachers and Superintendents of Freedmen's Schools
April 7 - Letter from Governor Ross Supporting Apache Removal (1886) 
April 8 - Roy Takeno reading paper in front of office / photograph by Ansel Adams
April 9 - Amnesty Oath of Robert E. Lee (1865) 
April 10 - Detroit Publishing Company photograph of The Main street, Mackinac
April 11 - Pigeon Message from Major Whittlesey to the Commanding Officer of the 308th Infantry (1918)
April 12 - Henry Bacon’s Competition Proposal for a Monument to Abraham Lincoln (1912)
April 13 -  The Johnstown calamity. A slightly damaged house. Pennsylvania Johnstown, 1889

I hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Jone Rush MacCulloch. Happy poetry Friday, friends!


  1. Tricia, your project is fascinating so now I want to read more. This would be an amazing project for a high school content area lesson.

  2. I haven't read many of your poems, Tricia, will try to read some others, too. This image is so filled with anger, love the "Bread or Blood"!

  3. "took the lead/took to the streets" - never mess with hungry women!