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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Poetry Friday--Restaurant Week

Here at Kurious Kitty's Kurio Kabinet we've been celebrating restaurants all week long. I've labeled the week "Restaurant Week" for no other reason than there are a lot of good restaurants in our area, and, there's a great variety of books and films, which deal with the subject of restaurants, waiting for you to borrow!

Since it's Poetry Friday, what better way to restaurants than with a poem! This poem is a favorite, if only for the catalog of colorful names for the non-color, white!

Thompson’s Lunch Room—Grand Central Station
by Amy Lowell

STUDY IN WHITES
Wax-white—
Floor, ceiling, walls.
Ivory shadows
Over the pavement
Polished to cream surfaces
By constant sweeping.
The big room is coloured like the petals
Of a great magnolia,
And has a patina
Of flower bloom
Which makes it shine dimly
Under the electric lamps.
Chairs are ranged in rows
Like sepia seeds
Waiting fulfilment.
The chalk-white spot of a cook’s cap
Moves unglossily against the vaguely bright wall—
Dull chalk-white striking the retina like a blow
Thru the wavering uncertainty of steam.
Vitreous-white of glasses with green reflections,
Ice-green carboys, shifting—greener, bluer—with the jar of moving water.
Jagged green-white bowls of pressed glass
Rearing snow-peaks of chipped sugar
Above the lighthouse-shaped castors
Of grey pepper and grey-white salt.
Grey-white placards: "Oyster Stew, Cornbeef Hash, Frankfurters":
Marble slabs veined with words in meandering lines.
Dropping on the white counter like horn notes
Through a web of violins,
The flat yellow lights of oranges,
The cube-red splashes of apples,
In high plated ├ępergnes.
The electric clock jerks every half-minute:
"Coming!—Past!"
"Three beef-steaks and a chicken-pie,"
Bawled through a slide while the clock jerks heavily.
A man carries a china mug of coffee to a distant chair.
Two rice puddings and a salmon salad
Are pushed over the counter;
The unfulfilled chairs open to receive them.
A spoon falls upon the floor with the impact of metal striking stone,
And the sound throws across the room
Sharp, invisible zigzags
Of silver.

from Amy Lowell: Selected Poems [821 LOW].

Please visit Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe for this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up.

Photo courtesy NYPL Digital Gallery.

8 comments:

  1. Gorgeous! You know I hadn't read this poem ever until you suggested it. It's like a monochrome quilt of sensory details.

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  2. Love it.
    Coincidentally, I just left an Amy Lowell quote over at Carol's blog:
    "Why should one read poetry? That seems to me a good deal like asking: Why should one eat?" -- Amy Lowell

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    Replies
    1. Excellent quote! I may use it one day at KK's Kwotes! I do have a Lowell quote ready to go next week, but not that one!

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    2. It's great, isn't it?

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  3. I am blown away by the particular specificity with which color (especially white) is noted. And lines like this:
    The big room is coloured like the petals
    Of a great magnolia

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    Replies
    1. And a great magnolia has a lovely powdery soft shade of white as you can see here.

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  4. Never read this one before-love the images and these lines: The big room is coloured like the petals
    Of a great magnolia, And has a patina Of flower bloom. Wonderful selection for Poetry Friday.

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