Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A VERMONT KITCHEN, by DANIEL LEAVENS CADY

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

A VERMONT KITCHEN, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: That lady some call 'mrs. Looz'
Last Line: No stranger, though a tramp, could stifle.
Subject(s): Farm Life; Housewives; Vermont; Agriculture; Farmers

THAT lady some call "Mrs. Looz,"
And others Marianna Evans,
And others Georgia Eliot, says
Of all the rooms beneath the heavens,
A farmhouse kitchen wins the prize
For being comfy, clean and cozy;
It makes a sleepy soul wake up
And makes a wideawake soul dozy.

She wasn't talking of Vermont,
And yet she was, for down in Putney
Where Uncle lived, I know 'twas true,
As well as up around Ascutney;
I guess 'twould hold in Halifax,
In Williamstown or Wells or Granby,
And folks are pizen neat, I've heard,
In Duxbury, Derby Line and Danby.

I'm pretty sure I recollect
A teapot kettle softly singing,
The waterpail not far away
With surplus drops about it clinging;
The dipper on its shiny nail,
The old guitarish clock a-ticking,
The dog asleep upon the mat,
A-growling in his dreams and kicking.

The stovehook, kinder halfway hid,
For fear the hired girl would break it;
The Stewart stove with steam all up
And bright as "Rising Sun" could make it;
I learnt to tell the time of day
Upon that long low stovehearth sitting,
A-looking in the clock's old face,
And grandma in the corner knitting.

The swinging shelves along the wall
A-full of cuff and collar boxes;
The pictures, one of Henry Clay,
The other, three fantastic foxes;
The great big chimbly closet, built
To fill the old brick oven quarter;
The bunch of sage, foredoomed to dust
Within the sassage maker's mortar.

The flats, a-standing soldier-like,
The one against the other's shoulder;
The holders hanging jest above,
A bright brass ring in every holder;
The wide-board floor we used to paint
At night with milk and yellow ocher;
The steelyards on the thirteenth hook,
The shovel jest beyond the poker.

The ceiling flaked and cracked, but white;
The maple chairs, the varnished graining,
And through the buttery door the sound
At night and morn of milk a-straining;
The turkey wings for oven use
That smelt of sulphur jest a trifle,
But more than all that sense of home
No stranger, though a tramp, could stifle.

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