"American Sampler"

"Tappan Chair" by Jane Duran, Featured in American Sampler

In early 2014, at the same time as we were wrapping up our successful Kickstarter campaign, we were contacted by Jane about the upcoming publication of her new book, American Sampler, and the poem therein entitled "Tappan Chair". Inspired by her childhood memories of New Hampshire and a passage about Tappan Chairs in the 1940's work Hands that Built New Hampshire, Jane honors us with her poetry, and we are grateful to present it here with her permission. 

"Tappan Chair"

Those who would live in this landscape
grow tall, deep, impervious too,

even laconic, splitting maple, turning white ash
on a lathe, stripping brown ash

from swampland, steaming, gouging,
pounding, bending, post, rung and slat

and all the time the wood so worked
makes a general, unpatterned noise,

a forest noise of force and flourishing 
so the carpenter’s heart beats faster

then stern and steady
in the making of a high-backed rocking chair.


Available here by arrangement with Enitharmon Press; poem printed with permission.