By Marianne Ipenburg
One of my last chores of the day is to sweep the floor. This task requires me to lift and move the chairs surrounding the table bases to reach all the crumbs. It is a slow process. There are often customers still talking, eating or sipping coffees at this time so I have them as an audience as I make my rounds. Some try to ignore my actions while others watch intently. A few make comments that they’d like to take me home to sweep their floors. Others do not say a word but I know they are watching. As soon as I get close to them they lift their feet in the air.
There is a fascination to sweeping. It is such an age old practice. People have swept since humankind first had floors. I suppose someone in a cave once picked up a broken branch and swept with it. The cave looked a little cleaner; the cave dweller felt a twinge of satisfaction and in time sweeping became the norm. We’ve been sweeping ever since—swish, swish, pat, swish. (Spit and polish would come later and probably originated during the Bronze Age.) The fascination patrons have as I sweep could have roots in some distant primordial call born from broken tree branches and fussy cave dwellers. As I sweep I become Shaman.
Prose poetry is defined as prose which resembles poetry in its language and rhythmic quality. This one builds quietly, the rhythm and the music of the language becoming more pronounced in the second paragraph, so that to me it moves gradually from prose into poetry.
It is also a 'small stone' — a kind of reflective writing originated by author Satya Robyn, described as 'a moment of paying proper attention'. I came across this piece this morning (my time, 15 hours ago now) on a facebook page where people post their small stones. Some write them in verse, some in prose. To be honest, I don't think Marianne intended this piece as a prose poem; it was I who perceived it that way and fell in love with it on the spot.
She does write verse poems too, and also pieces which are clearly prose. Then there are some others which, again, I would class as prose poetry. She's not a famous writer, but a blogger like the rest of us. You can find more of her writing at her blog, west coast dilettante. She's also an artist, and you can find pictures of her art work there too.
I also like her other blog, Talking to the Teapot, recently begun. [As she points out in a comment below, it's not hers exclusively; she shares this one with some other writers.] It celebrates ordinary, domestic objects — in this not unlike her reverence for sweeping, in the piece above. It's no wonder I like her stuff; I place a high value on the sacredness of the ordinary.
She lives in Canada, on Vancouver Island, where, she says,
- I like to paint, draw, take snapshots, create bad art (but I think I’m improving a little), snoop at other people’s artwork, and write. I am also a hoarder of second hand books and a pretty good baker.
- I think she's a pretty good writer, too!
- Poems and photos used in ‘I Wish I’d Written This’ remain the property of the copyright holders (usually their authors).