friday feast: mind the sharp edge, or, are you living with a dull blade?

photo: i love art a lot.

I get so excited whenever I “discover” a new poet. Even better, when the poet lives in Virginia (Falls Church, to be exact)!

Have you heard of Eleanor Ross Taylor? Even though she published her first collection of poetry in 1960, received many awards, and has kept company with the likes of Randall Jarrell, Robert Lowell and Robert Penn Warren, she’s managed to stay largely under the radar all these years.

I suspect she won’t be able to keep a low profile very much longer, as 2010 has been a banner year for her. In March, she received the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America, and was a Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. And then in April, she was awarded the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. She’s been compared to Marianne Moore, Elizabeth Bishop and Emily Dickinson.

I love “Kitchen Fable” for its smoldering frustration. She says a lot about marriage, relationships, both genders, sacrifice, and feminine deference in this short poem.

by Eleanor Ross Taylor

The fork lived with the knife
and found it hard — for years
took nicks and scratches,
not to mention cuts.

She who took tedium by the ears:
nonforthcoming pickles,
defiant stretched-out lettuce,
sauce-gooed particles.

He who came down whack.
His conversation, even, edged.

(Rest is here. Be sure to click on the audio link to hear Eleanor reading the poem.)

Of course, I’d never thought of knives and forks in quite this way before (ever notice how “knives and forks” is more common than “forks and knives”? Male dominance to be sure). Intrigued, I searched for a few more “flatware relationships.” Throwing all caution to the wind, I took the liberty of naming them. See if you agree, or if these silverware pairings bring to mind something else.


“Soul Mates”

photo: YlvaS.

“Intimacy Issues”

photo: Giles Heather.


photo: renaissancechambara.


photo: akka bakka.

“Girl Talk”


“Role Reversal”


“Up in Arms”

Mike Bailey-Gates.



“At Odds”


“In Sync”




Okay, your turn. Name this plant!

angelo milioto

I’ll leave you now to peer into your own cutlery drawer. Silver polish, anyone?

Today’s Roundup is at The Cazzy Files. Enjoy all the cool poems being served up today around the blogosphere.

P.S. I’m glad I’m a fork. How else would I be able to eat pie?

Chocolate Pie by pirate johnny.

♥ Read more of Eleanor Ross Taylor’s poems here.

♥ Also check out the cool Poetry Off the Shelf podcast, “Complete Original: Eleanor Ross Taylor.”

Copyright © 2010 Jama Rattigan of jama rattigan’s alphabet soup. All rights reserved.