The Thing About Chairs

I love simple wooden chairs. I love how they look against a wood floor. On a porch. Stacked up against a wall. Hanging on a wall (I have an old dark-stained one that I use as a towel rack on the bathroom wall.) I think the  artwork at the Oklahoma memorial to the bombing victims, those rows of chairs, is sublime. I wrote a manuscript once about a girl preoccupied with painting landscapes that always had a chair in them.

I just finished the Emily Dickinson chair. White, of course. I was inspired by the fake sampler picture I found in a thrift store with the word “HOPE” on it. I immediately thought of one of her famous poems that begins with that word. I’ve used the first four lines of the poem on the chair: “Hope is the thing with feathers / that perches in the soul / and sings the tune / without the words.”

I liked the simple wooden rocking chair I saw in the City Lights bookstore when I was in San Francisco. It said “Poet’s Chair.” Recently I bought 7 chairs on Craig’s List so I could make poet chairs out of them for the museum. I just completed (sort of) the first one–the Emily Dickinson chair. I’m a half-baked artist but I can bake at 400 degrees just the same. I admire artists and also know that any of us can be half-baked ones if we want to be.

I have 6 more poets to go…not sure which poets I will choose but probably Yeats, Sexton, Shakespeare, Thomas, Whitman, Teasdale…I have favorites. Who would you like to see in a chair? Which of their lines would the chair contain?

–Shaun Perkins

3 Comments on “The Thing About Chairs

  1. I love this project. I feel inspired to take my poetry and put on something. Chairs are really a good idea. Sometime I need to make something other than sitting here writing all the time. Ya know? YOu are always an inspirations. Thanks..

    • Thanks Jeanne! You inspire me, too. Do you write on your walls? I keep a black marker handy and write poetry on mine all the time. It’s a great way to always have it present. You and me, us word-freaks, that’s important, huh??

      • oooo. I could write on my walls. I use dry-markers to write on the inside of my car windows. Only, it’s hard cause I’m usually moving and I can’t alway make it remotely readable. I hope to recognize at least a couple bits of scrawl so I can remember. lol
        I do so love words. Thanks for your feedback. I really appreciate it.
        love and light to you my friend.

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