Monday, 22 November 2010

One Stop Poetry: A Poetic Monday!

Hello everyone!

Today's Monday finds us with a slight change of pace. This week I'm your host - Chris Galford - so Brian Miller, who usually handles our Monday Spotlights, can have a little time with the family. He deserves it, work-a-holic that he is!

I know you're used to seeing a spotlight here at the start of your week, but to open the Thanksgiving week, which is a major holiday celebration in America, I would like to share with you a picture and a poem of the season. I hope you enjoy, and happy holiday to all those celebrating Thanksgiving!

"The First Thanksgiving," by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1863–1930)
Of Turkeys and Bounty
(By Chris Galford)
A cornucopia, all for me,
how thankful is the blind man
to the fruits of his fair nothing—
the greenery, grown, beneath the
scarlet massacre-flood
through the sky, the day
the men in their wide-brimmed hats
forgot the sea, learned the barrel
no one ever looks the same
behind the sights.
A turkey stuffed
with all the hands, the hammers,
unsung ringings in the deep
lightly smelling of the smoke,
the factories that brimmed with weary souls,
to bring the table to the meal,
to bring the car that brought the people—
smoking still the stilling rifle,
that bought and held and earned
the right to live, to dine,
the right to never know the pain
of making—foundations
in a crowded horn, this overflowing
but the end, not the means.
No oven fire burns so hot
could give the soul,
we dine upon tonight.

Not the usual fare for the Thanksgiving season, but I hope you enjoyed it all the same?

For those among the rest of our global audience, a word on Thanksgiving:

Thanksgiving is an annual tradition in the United States, tracing itself as far back as 1863. The basis for the event occurred even further back, though, in 1621, when the Pilgrims of the Plymouth Colony held a three day celebration - including a harvest feast - to give thanks for food given to them by local Native American tribes, which enabled them to survive the harshness of their first winter ashore in America.

Though the celebration originally began with more religious overtones, the day has since grown into a secular, national holiday largely based around the concept of spending time with one’s family, and giving thanks for all that has come to you in the past year. The government, as well as most businesses, close down in honor of the day, and the Thanksgiving weekend is one of the busiest travel periods of the year. Turkey is a staple of the day itself, while stuffing, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and a host of fall vegetables are also commonly associated with most Thanksgiving dinners.

Thanksgiving is also traditionally a time of great care in local communities, many of which (as well as churches, businesses, and charity organizations) set up annual food drives for the occasion, to provide a Thanksgiving meal to the less fortunate.

Now a question for my fellow Americans among our audience today: what is your favorite part of Thanksgiving - your favorite memory?

14 comments:

Fireblossom said...

The food. There's nothing like Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings.

annell said...

Thanks for the post. Hope my write isn't too much of a downer....

Hope said...

In Canada, we celebrate thanksgiving the second week in October. It is the same for us with our food (I like turkey) for the main, pumpkin pie etc. and family/friends of coarse.
Love the energy that flows with this holiday. to me, thanksgiving is just like Xmas only without the weeks of hype and commercialism.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope said...

one more thing, the painting is amazing! and really like the poem! Great choices
thank you

Maureen said...

I did enjoy your poem. Thank you for sharing it with us.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Heather Grace Stewart said...

I'm also Canadian, so like Hope said, we celebrated in early October, but always good to start a week in gratitude. Love the poem and painting. Happy Thanksgiving to my U.S. friends!
Heather

June_Butterfly said...

We don't celebrate Thanksgiving on my part of the globe.But how I wish we do.Would love a feast with Turkey as the main dish!

Deep poem.Amazing painting!Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful words with us!

Happy Thanksgiving!

dustus said...

Chris, great poem with subtleties that enhance your explication of the holiday. To answer your question, Thanksgiving for me is a time for traveling many miles to see my family and to share quality time with them. In addition to enjoying an excellent meal, the best part is the conversation about what's going on in our lives. Excellent post.

Claudia said...

thanks chris - for the poem and also for the background. for me as a german, it was really interesting. in germany, we're celbrating sth, called "Erntedankfest" - a "say thanks for the harvest feast" but not in big style, like you are doing this but only in the churches. when i was a child and we went to church with my uncle in a small bavarian village, all the farmers brought sth from their harvest to the church and the priest would bless it and say thanks.

shewriting said...

Chris, thanks for hosting and for getting me in the mood for Thanksgiving! I love the food... and spending time with some of my family members...although, I am thankful for all of them! :)

hedgewitch said...

What a poem--a feast just to read it. Holidays send very mixed messages, but Thanksgiving is one of my favorites because even though it's built on a lot of wishful thinking, it does manage to carry some genuine gratitude and pleasure in its tradition of feast, football, friends, family and thankfulness.

Cor said...

Great poem Chris and thank you for hosting. The picture was beautiful. Thanksgiving is my second favorite holiday to Christmas which is my first. I love the time that we spend with family that we do not see on a daily basis. The football games that are on, which you can hear the guys hooting and hollering over cooking the meal. It's funny that we spend hours to prepare a meal that is gone within minutes. I hope that all of your Holidays are fantastic!

moondustwriter said...

Family time is so hard to come by so we cherish the moments to be together and play games. it helps that we have a weekend to enjoy each other.

Thanks Chris for getting us in the spirit. We have already started cooking

The Exception said...

I would like to believe that the people in the US don’t need this holiday – that we each feel thankful for that which we have each day. However, I have a feeling that this is more a fantasy than a reality… so my favorite part of Thanksgiving is the idea that for this day… even if just for a few hours, more Americans than not are stopping to take a minute and give thanks.
And I love that it is about thanks and blessings and giving and that I don’t have to get sucked into the commercial side of it.