Saturday, September 11, 2010

The World Begins at a Kitchen Table? (Poem)

The Méndez family does not have a dining room as such. Their front door opens on the long side of a generous-sized room whose opposite long side is the living area. In between is the dining table, which also serves as the kitchen table. The kitchen area is along the wall to the left of the front door, with windows through which approaching visitors may be seen. Someone working in the kitchen can easily talk with another person anywhere in the room, and vice versa. It's a communal space.

Ana loves the room. Her own people are highly family oriented, and so is her husband. Unlike many families today, the Méndez family almost always sits down together for meals. Cooking and cleaning up afterwards are also generally a family affair.

Thus it will not be a surprise to learn that Ana loved the poem that begins "The world begins at the kitchen table." If the line had said "The world begins with the family," it would have meant the same thing to her. She needed Matt to explain to her that the poem refers to an older home which has housed many generations in turn, since no one lays out the dead on the kitchen table any more, nor are babies born on it.

All the same, though their house has been occupied by the Méndez family only in recent years, the basic structure is over 120 years old. Ana likes that.

"Perhaps the World Ends Here," by Joy Harjo

Oops! The link above has been closed (in 2017), as have many links to Ana's other favorite poems. For the workaround to find them another way, please see this link! Thank you!

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