‘The House Remembers’ by Amy Foreman The Society February 23, 2020 Beauty, Culture, Poetry, Shape Poems 26 Comments Amy Foreman hails from the southern Arizona desert, where she homesteads with her husband and seven children. She has enjoyed teaching both English and Music at the college level, but is now focused on home-schooling her children, gardening, farming, and writing. Her blog is theoccasionalcaesura.wordpress.com NOTE: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 26 Responses Susan Jarvis Bryant February 23, 2020 What a bright and beautiful start to my Sunday morning. I love everything about this magnificently crafted concrete poem that captures the true spirit of a family home. Superb! Reply Amy Foreman February 23, 2020 Thank you for reading and appreciating “The House Remembers,” Susan. I am delighted that it provided a good start to your morning! Reply James A. Tweedie February 23, 2020 Amy, You loaded the bases with your family and then hit a grand slam. A creative, and well-crafted construction by a clever contractor! It’s been a long time since your last post. Glad to see you’re still at it! Reply Amy Foreman February 23, 2020 Thanks, James! 2019 didn’t have much wiggle-room for writing poetry, but I think 2020 might be a little easier on my poetic leisure time! Reply Joe Tessitore February 23, 2020 May I add my voice to Susan’s and James’, and I’m glad they chimed in before I did – this one truly leaves me speechless! Reply Amy Foreman February 23, 2020 Thank you for this kind comment, Joe! Reply Joseph S. Salemi February 23, 2020 A fine example of technopaignia, or the “figured poem.” The best-known specimen in English is the seventeenth-century “Easter-Wings,” though there are also instances from Greek and Latin verse. What I like about Ms. Foreman’s piece is that there is no problem at all in following her perfect tetrameter, her solid rhymes (which are sustained at great length!), and her clear and precise enjambments. This poem took a lot of work, but it’s as sturdy and well-constructed as the house it describes. Reply Amy Foreman February 23, 2020 I appreciate your comment very much, Dr. Salemi–especially your explanation of this type of “shaped” or “figured” poem. Indeed, I was inspired by George Herbert’s technopaignia in creating a shaped poem, although my favorite of his is “The Altar.” Reply Amy Foreman February 23, 2020 Thank you, Evan, for creatively superimposing my “house” onto that green hill in the photograph. Very nice! Reply Tonya Ann McQuade February 23, 2020 What a beautiful description! I love how you’ve captured the house’s observations and perspective – and how you do it with such interesting rhyme and meticulous meter. Would you mind if I use this as an example of concrete poetry with my high school students? Reply Amy Foreman February 23, 2020 I would be tickled if you used this poem as an example with your students, Tonya! Thank you for thinking of it. Reply David Paul Behrens February 23, 2020 Quite beautiful and very artistic. Reply Amy Foreman February 23, 2020 Thank you, David. Reply David Watt February 23, 2020 Amy, it’s a wonderful start to my day to see your highly creative and perfectly rhymed ‘structural’poem. I look forward to reading more in 2020. Reply Amy Foreman February 23, 2020 I’m so glad you enjoyed “The House Remembers,” David! Reply C.B. Anderson February 24, 2020 Amy, the strange thing for me is how a homemaker suddenly became a house builder. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such an expansive example of this type of poem — it must be at least 3,000 square feet. Reply Amy Foreman February 24, 2020 What a wonderfully diverting and apt comment, C.B.! Thank you! Reply James Sale February 24, 2020 Excellent poetry, Amy – Herbert is one of my favourites and this is a superb homage in its way and ingenious continuation of the tradition. Reply Amy Foreman February 24, 2020 Thank you so much, James! Reply Monty February 24, 2020 I dunno how long it’s been since your last offering to these pages, Amy: but in that time, I’ve occasionally found myself wondering when the next one will be. Now . . the above ‘masterpiece of imagination’ has shown that it was definitely worth waiting for. With ‘concrete poems’, I’ve often struggled in the past to relate the visual shape with the actual poem, hence questioned the very necessity of the ‘shape’.. which has left me feeling that it can sometimes seem to be a bit of a gimmick. But your piece above is ‘concrete’ not only in name, but also ‘concrete’ as an adjective; and could (should?) be used as an example to demonstrate the essence of concrete poetry in its purest form. And then . . the very concept of the poem: 50 years of domestic history as told by the one body that has witnessed each and every little thing, and has heard each and every word spoken . . or sung! The house speaks. As for the rhyme maintenance: I found myself staring at the piece trying to imagine how – if it was in normal stanza form – rich it would be with internal rhymes. Another thing, although it’s only a tiny aspect: I like the way you contracted the word ‘though’ in L4, in keeping with the shape of the roof. Well worth the wait, Amy . . bravo. p.s. If anyone reading this is discovering Amy for the first time, I implore you to enter her name into the search-bar above/below to view some of her previous offerings; and it’ll become apparent as to why her work is always highly anticipated at SCP. Reply Amy Foreman February 24, 2020 Monty, I’m delighted that you were anticipating another submission from me, and equally delighted that you found “The House Remembers” worth the wait. And thank you for the endorsement! Reply Satyananda Sarangi February 26, 2020 Greetings, Amy ma’am 🙂 I have no words to describe how I felt reading this. You have pulled off a masterstroke. Loved it. Regards and best wishes Reply Amy Foreman February 26, 2020 Thank you so much for the kind compliment, Satyananda! Reply Rod February 28, 2020 I would echo every sentiment expressed above Amy – it’s a delightful piece and I thoroughly enjoyed it. When time permits I intent to follow Monty’s advice and look your work up online. Best wishes – Rod. Reply Amy Foreman February 28, 2020 Thank you, Rob, for your comment, and for checking out my other poetry on this site. Blessings to you! Reply Amy Foreman February 28, 2020 Sorry, Rod–I must be dyslexic, calling you “Rob.” My apologies. 🙂 Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. 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