Saturday, June 23, 2012


The first “Art of Poetry at the Hickory Museum of Art” took place last Saturday with poems by area poets Al Stout, Nancy Posey, Ann Chandonnet, Bud Caywood, Patricia Deaton, Anthony Rankine, David Moore, Mel Hager, and Scott Owens. Most of the poems were based on the Museum’s “Sleeping with Van Gogh” exhibit, although one poem came from the “From Billy to Willi” exhibit, and another from the “Discover Folk Art” exhibit. The poets read and discussed their poems standing next to the work of art that inspired them.

The following poem by Hickory’s Nancy Posey began with her viewing of Heather Lewis’s piece, Small Chair, Large Shadow.”

Chairmaker's Dreams
by Nancy Posey
after Heather Lewis's “Small Chair, Large Shadow”

He remembered seeing the street signs and sidewalks in cotton fields--
Ford City, they'd called it, even after Henry abandoned his plans
in Alabama and built his cars in Detroit. Even the plant that came
years later has closed long ago. Now, in his new home, he sees
giant chairs all over town, a civic art project when this was still
the furniture capital of the world, before those eighteen wheelers
hauling containers from China became a regular sight up
and down I-40, and then each night, filling his dreams,
his nightmares, as he tries to exorcise the muscle memory.

Here he is, unemployed after twenty-eight years building chairs,
eight-way hand-tied springs, paid by the piece, his movements
as graceful, as repetitive as any dancer’s, despite the nails between
his teeth. His nights are plagued by images of giant chairs,
yet somehow he never managed to bring one home, made
with these hands he examines now--one still curled to hold the tools,
one reaching for the nails, the coils, one eye on the clock.

The next “Art of Poetry” reading will take place on September 15 from 2:00 to 3:30. Poets are invited to visit the Hickory Museum of Art, view the exhibits, write poems based on the works of art in the exhibits, and submit them to Scott Owens at Up to 20 poems will be selected for inclusion in the next reading. The deadline for submission is September 1. Exhibits eligible to be written from and the dates they will be hung are as follows:

Catawba Valley Remembered, Arie Reinhardt, 6/2-9/16
Landscapes by Paul Whitener, Ongoing
Past, Present and Accounted For, Quilts by Jeana Eve Klein, 9/1-12/2
A Broader Perspective, Robert Broderson, 8/11-11/25
American Art Pottery and Born of Fire Glass Collection, Ongoing
A Mural in the Making, Brenda Councill, 8/11-11/25
Discover Folk Art, Ongoing

1 comment:

  1. I may be a newcomer (15 years in NC), but it's been long enough to appreciate this poem. I love its specificity and uncompromising strength.