Monday, November 21, 2011

Poetry Jam - "A Tired Beauty"

Tired Beauty

A tired beauty in black and white
freeze framed for eternity.
Deeply etched her worries, 
a map of misfortune
for all to see.  Thin lips silent, 
despair tightly clenched 
and denied.

An American symbol
she became.  Of failure?
Of hope?

Her gaze shies away,
unwilling to confront, to beg.
Instead, off into the distance she looks
as if a bit of hope existed.

Formidable, her mother's backbone
coped with hunger, filth, weariness.

Is this the American dream?

Her children recall her 
determination, her perseverance.  
When she drew them close, 
she gave them all she had, her love.  

They responded with hope and thanksgiving.

How do we respond?

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, November 21, 2011

For a short audio excerpt of Florence Thompson, the "Migrant Mother" being interviewed click HERE

This is written for Poetry Jam.  You are all invited to write to the above photo prompt.  Each week a different challenge is presented.

Also linked it to dVerse "Open Link Night".  Already over 100 poems - it's the place to be on Tuesday nights!  


Helen said...

Margaret, I was fascinated with the audio you added this week. In her own voice we were able to hear more of the story ... thank you!

Carrie Burtt said...

Beautiful writing Margaret! :-)

Heaven said...

I like your question in the end...lovely message and pictures too.

I hope with love and kindness to people we meet. Powerful write ~

Lolamouse said...

You captured the essence of these photos beautifully!

G-Man said...

You are so perfect Margaret Bednar.
Awesome piece of writing

Brian Miller said...

excellent margaret...your closing question is challenging...i am glad her children were thankful for what they had...and the american dream died a while ago except for a few

Laurie Kolp said...

Perplexing picture so commonly found on women of today (and men). You write with such depth and passion here, Margaret.

Anonymous said...

Such a lovely poem and photo. It's from the Dust Bowl, right? Such a sad time, and you write about the face so beautifully. K.

Claudia said...

i like the question at the end..bringing it back to us.. this is a fascinating image and you captured her sensitively

lisa said...

This is wonderful Margaret, and the audio is great!
I wish you and your family a beautiful Thanksgiving.

justine said...

this is one of my favourite shots, I am staring at it on the front cover of one of my favourite photography books as I write. I love your poem too. Happy thanksgiving!

forgetmenot said...

I'm having trouble roasting turkeys, baking pies, and "blogging"--way behind on everything. Have a Happy Thanksgiving with your lovely family and a year filled with many blessings. What a wonderful photo and such meaningful and touching words. Your poems are always beautifully written. Mickie :)

Morning said...


Happy Thanksgiving.

Morning said...


Happy Thanksgiving.

Barclay Hurley said...

This is amazing Margaret, and the audio is great! That's really take a nice shot.

Charleston photographers

Ginnie said...

It's one of the most well-known images of all time, Margaret, and a perfect one for this time of the year, reminding us of how much we have for which to be thankful. I especially liked hearing her voice, describing what it was like "back then." Sadly, I have a feeling there are some today who could tell a similar story in our own country!