Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, MY GRANDMOTHER'S [TURKEY-TAIL] FAN, by SAMUEL MINTURN PECK

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MY GRANDMOTHER'S [TURKEY-TAIL] FAN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: It owned not a color that vanity dons
Last Line: My grandmother's turkey-tail fan.
Subject(s): Fans; Grandparents; Grandmothers; Grandfathers; Great Grandfathers; Great Grandmothers

IT owned not a color that vanity dons
Or slender wits choose for display;
Its beautiful tint was a delicate bronze,
A brown softly blended with gray.
From her waist to her chin, spreading out without break,
'Twas built on a generous plan:
The pride of the forest was slaughtered to make
My grandmother's turkey-tail fan.

For common occasions it never was meant:
In a chest between two silken cloths
'Twas kept safely hidden with careful intent
In camphor to keep out the moths.
'Twas famed far and wide through the whole country side,
From Beersheba e'en unto Dan;
And often at meeting with envy 'twas eyed,
My grandmother's turkey-tail fan.

Camp-meetings, indeed, were its chiefest delight.
Like a crook unto sheep gone astray
It beckoned backsliders to re-seek the right,
And exhorted the sinners to pray.
It always beat time when the choir went wrong,
In psalmody leading the van.
Old Hundred, I know, was its favorite song—
My grandmother's turkey-tail fan.

A fig for the fans that are made nowadays,
Suited only to frivolous mirth!
A different thing was the fan that I praise,
Yet it scorned not the good things of earth.
At bees and at quiltings 'twas aye to be seen;
The best of the gossip began
When in at the doorway had entered serene
My grandmother's turkey-tail fan.

Tradition relates of it wonderful tales.
Its handle of leather was buff.
Though shorn of its glory, e'en now it exhales
An odor of hymn-books and snuff.
Its primeval grace, if you like, you can trace:
'Twas limned for the future to scan,
Just under a smiling gold-spectacled face,
My grandmother's turkey-tail fan.

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