Monday, August 6, 2012

La Plainte de La Grand Dame


Magpie Tales is a wonderful blog that features a weekly picture prompt from one talented poet, Tess Kincaid. Those who choose to participate are welcome to respond in poetry or prose to the art selected. As it happens, most people submit a poem, which suits me fine! Here's my take on this one...

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A Dinner Table at Night 1884 - John Singer Sargent

La Plainte de la Grande Dame
©2012 Susan Noyes Anderson


We always dressed for dinner then,
lithe hostesses of peerless men
whose dreams were second to their pride.
So much to lose; still more to hide.

Our repartee was quite adroit,
and we were easy to exploit,
well-groomed for lives of grace and ease
by mothers who knew how to please.

Like sparrows feathering a nest,
we preened our way through every test--
glittered in gowns of ennui--
fancier than we were free.

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35 comments:

Brian Miller said...

your last line says much...there are some nice tongue in cheek lines in this as well...groomed by mothers who knew how to please...smiles.

Laraine Eddington said...

You took that enigmatic expression and ran with it. Well done.

karen said...

Oooooh, Sue... very dark. Really liked this one. You always amaze me with your versatility.

Eva Gallant said...

Oh, I really liked this one!!!!

zongrik said...

fancier than we were free...that's the key here.

this was very nice.

De said...

Oh! Your rhyme scheme works SO well for you here, Sue. Just brilliant. I especially love:
"So much to lose; still more to hide."
And that last line...fancier than free, indeed.
Just fantastic.

Leovi said...

I like a lot, a poem interesting.

Green Speck said...

You did a great task with the picture ... loved reading it :-)

Daydreamertoo said...

Women's lives back then were so staid, organised and with very few women's rights at all.
Very atmospheric and, tells its truth in such a gentle way as befits that age.
Lovely

Berowne said...

What you had to say was true - and quite holding...

DCW said...

Well captured.

Annmarie Pipa said...

your poems are wonderful!..you have a writing talent...for at least the past 30 years!! hope you are keeping some kind of collection!

PammyMcB said...

So reminiscent of being a young woman. I would say of a time long past, but I believe that women still raise their daughters this way, at least, my mother did. But, according to my children, I am getting "quite old," so maybe it is a time long past.

TheDhax said...

Liked the rhyming.... and the (somewhat nostalgic) sense of remembering...

turtlememoir said...

yeah, fancier than we were free... describes such an existence well.
I really like this poem, it flows well, great choice of words, and best of all, rhyme that sounds uncontrived. well done!

Tess Kincaid said...

Lovely rhyme pattern here...and the last line really wraps it up nicely...

yaya said...

I always wonder what some of the women might have accomplished if given the freedom that we have. But then there is something to be said about gentility, grace, good manners, modest dress and not having to run out in the middle of the night to do a surgery case...wait, I digress...

Heaven said...

I like the rhyming words...yes, fancier but not really free ~ Great write here ~

daydreamerdreams said...

Very beautiful write! Women of grace, like in the historical romances I love so much!

Susie Clevenger said...

Young women were preened to make an appropriate male catch...loved how you summed it all up in the ending.

Little Nell said...

Excellent. This poem is reflective and mature.

manicddaily said...

Wonderful! Very true and beautifully, musically, explored. k.

Helen said...

When a poem feels this good while reading aloud, it is good!!!

Kutamun said...

The times they are a changin ", thanks , Sue

Sue J said...

That's the way it was, and I suspect still is for some people.

Darlene said...

You always do so well when it comes to interpeting a picture. It always makes me wonder just what the artist had in HIS mind when he painted a particular picture. With this one, I would say you could be right on the mark. I really loved the poem, and like Brian, I liked your last line.

Grandma Honey said...

"fancier than we were free"...love that!

kaykuala said...

Great rhyming,Sue! It's a never-ending story. The lady is expected to make a good catch,so it is! Nicely written!

Hank

Caroline said...

Sue, your work becomes more and more brilliant each day.

I loved this one very much.

:)

Caroline

Karen S. said...

You had me at the "La Plainte de La Grand Dame"...simply, marvelous!

Ames said...

The big thing we did growing up was make sure we washed up and combed our hair before supper. I like the last line the best. We all get dressed up for certain ocassions in life and when they're over we change into our everyday comfort clothes and breathe.

Now that I am retired I live in my flop clothes and get dressed up when I leave the house. Which is usually early morning abd late afternoon. So if you were to stop by during siesta time I probably wouldn't be presentable.

I heard a phrase two weeks ago, "First impressions are so important, so take the extra five minutes in the morning to put on your jewelry!" Hee.

Love your words!~Ames

Amy said...

You are so good! Love it.

jane.healy said...

Very nicely done - enjoyed it thoroughly

~T~ said...

Nice portrait of the women of an era. It fits the image well. I think I enjoy more freedom, but dressing for dinner once in a while would be attractive, too.

Linda said...

Brilliant presentation, Sue. I really enjoyed the cadence and the historic framework. Such talent... thank you!
=D

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