Overalls | How I Became a Poet

Norma, whose medium is typically fabric, considers herself first a poet. And poetry is how she interpreted “overalls” in our Sibling Discovery Project.

Vachel Lindsay, poet

Norma’s poem is a reflection on a poem all three of us siblings remember vividly and fondly—having read it from the same old, orange ChildCraft book even decades apart. The poet is Vachel Lindsay, and the poem is “The Potatoes’ Dance.”

Through Norma’s poem and our conversation about how she came to write it, the three of us discovered both shared and unique memories about the cellar of our own farmhouse, the sensation of being on Daddy’s lap, and our awareness of repetition as a meaningful device in art.

How I Became a Poet
by Norma Terpening Colman

Daddy’s lap of overalls
And an orange book of poetry

         “Down cellar,” said the cricket.

Bib pockets with a pencil or two
And the ubiquitous pocket watch,
Secured with a n odd shoe string

         “Down cellar,” said the cricket.

The rise and fall of his chest
Soothed me into imagination’s land.

         “Down cellar,” said the cricket.

Daddy and daughter

         In honor of a lady

Hear  .  Touch  .  See

         Who gave potatoes eyes.

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