Monday morning is coffee smells and pulley squeaks
as my mother hangs clothes on two steel lines,
wooden pegs in a pouch on the line, the next peg
in her mouth – she could even talk around it.
~ Ann E. Carson
excerpt from Laundry Life
Creativity in Late Life
Aging in Community News
In a group, each person writes a word on a piece of paper. The papers are circulated to the write, with each participant adding a word to the growing lists. When participants have their own list back (their original word at the top), each person writes with his individualized list of words for 15 minutes.
Laundry Lines: A Memoir in Stories and Poems
Ann Elizabeth Carson; Toronto: Inanna Publications, 2015.
Profiled earlier in the Writing Aging and Spirit blog, Ann Elizabeth Carson finds herself at age 86 with much to say in poetry and prose about her life and the world within which she has lived. See Risks of Remembrance (2010) and We All Become Stories (2013).
Laundry lines is a poetic exploration of women’s work in stories and poems. Laundry lines refers concretely to clothing pegged diligently by women and young girls onto outdoor lines in all types of weather. Carson also describes the line stretched across her Manitoulin cottage with ideas written on recipe cards conveniently set out for ongoing rearrangement — in the days before computer software for writing. [Take note of the cover image.] Behind the scenes runs the theme of quilted shapes set out with messages for slaves escaping to Ontario on the underground railroad or for loyalists dealing with invasion in 1812.
Carson regales us with anecdotes about two maiden aunts who welcomed her to their weekend/summer place in a country town; coming of age during World War II; summers over the years at her cherished cottage on Manitoulin Island; and, more recently, ice storms in Toronto.
The interweaving of stories and poems works well to re-focus attention on nature, emotions, and narrative – all of which are featured in both forms.
For the full book review, click here: Ryan15-Carson15LaundryLines
To read a poem, click here: Carson15-Mind Cellar