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?