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Red Shoe Ramblings » Poetry Thursday: a Poem for an October Night

Poetry Thursday: a Poem for an October Night


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Rather than following the prompt for Poetry Thursday, I decided to post a poem that I ran across a few months ago and liked. I remember thinking at the time that it didn’t feel right to post it then. It felt like an autumn sort of poem. So I’m going to share a portion of it now. It’s called “Witch” and is written by Jean Tepperman. It’s a long one and I’m only going to share the last third or so of it here, but if you want to read the poem in it’s entirety you can find it on this website or in the book “Ain’t I a Woman!”

a selection from:
Witch

…They built screens and room dividers
to hide unsightly desire
sixteen years old
raw and hopeless
they buttoned me into dresses
covered with pink flowers.
They waited for me to finish
then continued the conversation.
I have been invisible,
weird and supernatural.
I want my black dress.
I want my hair
curling wild around me.
I want my broomstick
from the closet where I hid it.
Tonight I meet my sisters
in the graveyard.
Around midnight
if you stop at a red light
in the wet city traffic,
watch for us against the moon.
We are screaming,
we are flying,
laughing, and won’t stop.

~~~Jean Tepperman

Here’s another shadow portrait for today’s Daily Art Thang:


“Autumn Shadow 2″
(clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window)

23 Responses to “Poetry Thursday: a Poem for an October Night”

  1. on 26 Oct 2006 at 12:58 am Catherine

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    Hey Deb, in the Andy Goldsworthy book I am reading he makes shadow portraits by lying down in the rain (presumably till it stops) then photographing the dry patches. Light rain, I hope. Another way he does it is to stand so that his shadow protects the frost from the sun, until the rest of the frost melts. The book is called “Time”. I think you’d find it cool.
    I like the poem, too

  2. on 26 Oct 2006 at 5:02 am Nic Sebastian

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    Nice choice from Jean Tepperman — just right for the season! Thanks for sharing, Nic

  3. on 26 Oct 2006 at 6:23 am Triller

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    I went and read the whole poem. I had to smile. They used to say that about MY hair…all fuzzy and Jewish. :-) Love your photos!!
    Patty (Triller’s Mum)

  4. on 26 Oct 2006 at 7:45 am ren.kat

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    What a great poem- and thanks for giving the book info. . . I’ll be checking it out!

  5. on 26 Oct 2006 at 8:14 am bee

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    the juxtaposition of this poem with the dat is truly creepy - both are beautiful.

  6. on 26 Oct 2006 at 8:37 am Jamie

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    Love it! There’s such a juxtaposition of pain and freedom of restriction and rebellion of anger and defiance. We will not stop!

  7. on 26 Oct 2006 at 8:39 am abhay k

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    Hi Debr!
    Halloween is near by and its time for spooky poems!
    Thanks for sharing!

  8. on 26 Oct 2006 at 9:22 am Gratification through Sadness

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    Deb,

    I am quickly becoming a huge fan of your site!

    -GTS

  9. on 26 Oct 2006 at 10:11 am Deb R

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    Hi Catherine, I love A.G.’s stuff, but I think I’ve only seen his photos of his arrangements of natural objects, not the shadow portraits. Those sound so cool! (Sound like a PITA to do, but cool.)

    Thanks, Nic, glad you enjoyed it!

    Hi Patty. Me toooo…I was a MASS of frizzy curls in my younger days. It’s calmed down some as I’ve gotten older (knock wood).

    Thanks, Ren.kat! It’s a very good book. I don’t think you’d be sorry if you bought it.

    Thanks, Bee! Somehow they seemed to fit together to me.

    Yes, Jamie, that’s it exactly!

    Hi Abhay, just what I thought - it seemed to fit the season.

    Thanks GTS! :::beam:::

  10. on 26 Oct 2006 at 10:51 am kristen

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    i really love this DAT. the lonnng shadows of autumn with the barn - so nice. i love the colors, the composition, the everything.

  11. on 26 Oct 2006 at 11:16 am la vie en rose

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    good choice!

  12. on 26 Oct 2006 at 1:08 pm gkgirl

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    again!
    how
    do
    you
    find
    these!

    i love it! :)

  13. on 26 Oct 2006 at 3:22 pm Tammy

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    Fun, fun, fun Deb. You find the most unique poetry and I always enjoy it:)

  14. on 26 Oct 2006 at 3:44 pm twilightspider

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    What a perfect poem - and the shadow portrait is gorgeous. The clouds in the sky are so arresting, and the shadows just draw your eye up there. Wow.

  15. on 26 Oct 2006 at 4:26 pm Janet

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    I really like these pictures…”me and my shadow(s)” :-)

  16. on 26 Oct 2006 at 6:56 pm Tongue in Cheek Antiques

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    the shadows standing tall in this country image…look like three witches!
    And in the county they are far from red lights…beware halloween is close by!!

  17. on 26 Oct 2006 at 7:24 pm ceanandjen

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    Oh, I like this poem! And what a beautiful pictures. It’s feeling very Autumn!

    xoxox

  18. on 26 Oct 2006 at 8:24 pm b/sistersshoes

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    I remember playing ‘witch’ as a child and trying to run down the sidewalk while riding a broom. and mind you, these were way before Swifer, so these were huge brooms!
    Please tell me you did this too, all of a sudden it all sounds so…

    hey, we were poor and dirt was considered a toy…use your imagination ;)
    lovins,
    XODarlene

  19. on 27 Oct 2006 at 12:24 am Amber

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    That picture should be part of a calander. Hey! You should put one together with all your best shots!
    I would want one.

    Thanks for your words today. That is a good idea, and I am trying to do it. Little steps… :) :)

  20. on 27 Oct 2006 at 12:44 am Kim G.

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    Great picture and I love Amber’s calender idea - I’d buy one! :)
    Fun pick for poetry Thursday. It made me think of “Wicked” and Elpheba. Great story!

  21. on 27 Oct 2006 at 10:31 am Deb R

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    Thanks, kristen! I liked how it came out too.

    Thanks, Michelle. :-)
    gkgirl, I gave you a link to the book this time! :-D (It’s a really good book too…lots of worthwhile stuff in there. I found my copy at a used book store.)

    Thanks, Tammy, glad you do!

    T.S., your comment about the shadows drawing the eye up made me smile because that was exactly what I was trying for in that photo. Yay!!

    Thanks, Janet! That means a lot coming from you because your photos rock!

    Ooooh, Corey, I like the thought that the other shadows are other witches. Makes it feel very right for the poem.

    Thanks, Jen! I’m having a great time with my camera lately.

    Oh hell yeah, I played witch with a broom as a kid, Darlene! Although sometimes the broom was a horse or a car instead of a broom. :-) I remember creating “roads” in the gravel driveway for my brother’s hot wheels cars too.

    Good for you, Amber! (Have you seen the movie “What About Bob?” “Baby steps to the bus, baby steps to the bus…” I love that movie!) I wonder how the heck one would go about doing a calendar? Hhhmmm…

    Aaaww, thanks, Kim!! And I love that the poem reminded you of Elphaba. I love that play! (Still haven’t tackled the book though. Heh.)

  22. on 27 Oct 2006 at 1:31 pm michelle

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    Beautiful photo.

    And a great poem… I didn’t totally understand it until I read the whole poem. I have days when I feel like letting go, so I can go against the grain and be a witch too!

  23. on 27 Oct 2006 at 1:34 pm susanlavonne

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    INTENSELY gorgeous!!!
    you’ve also inspired me to now OPEN the box of quilting fabric that i dug out of the basement 2 weeks ago and consider making something with it…but maybe a pillow for a holiday gift rather than a postcard…thanks, Oh Queen of Quilting!

    could say more and look more but gotta get back to work :-)