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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

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:
"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.


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

  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

    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!

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

  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

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

  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.