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 thoughts 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..

    1. 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??

      1. 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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