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April 6, 2015

Ekphrastic Mondays Poem #1

It's National Poetry Month 2015 and to celebrate I'm once again, presenting "Ekphrastic Mondays." Each Monday in April I'll be posting an ekphrastic poem (art about art). Today's poem I entered in the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston's "ARTlines2 Poetry Competition." It was a contest I did not win. I was hoping to at least get into the honorable mention category, so that I could get a contributor copy of the contest anthology. No such luck. Ah, well. I still like the poem, so, I'm going to share it with you today, accompanied by this piece from the museum's collection:

"Mademoiselle Boissiere Knitting" by Gustave Caillebotte (1877), courtesy MFAH.
Muffatees and Mitts

A hank of fine wool,
two slender needles,
fingers fully engaged.

Mechanized with the
rhythm, row upon row.

If I closed my eyes I
did not drop a stitch.

"I would recognize the
click of your needles from
our adjoining graves."

How you loved to tease
me all those years ago.

The click remains, but I
can't say the same of you.

Muffatees and mitts,
D’Oyleys and gaiters,
these things never change.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

I imagined the younger Mademoiselle Boissiere had a lover. He made promises to her, but then left her with only memories.

Mitts and muffatees are fingerless gloves (now back in fashion a century and a half latter). D'Oyleys are, of course, doilies. Gaiters cover the ankles and the tops of boots or shoes.

Come back next Monday for a poem about the patron saint of eyeglasses!


  1. Diane, I noticed right away too that the "Mademoiselle" didn't quite fit with the appearance of the subject. I like your imagination about her and your interesting words! (And sorry to be a day late!)