"Chaos Subdued by the Power of Need"

After the milk debacle of last week and lots of busy-ness for Melissa the past few days we, this morning, have decided to declare this week on Sugar City "Subdue Chaos" week. Thus a little Vermeer (who is more orderly than those Vermeer people?) and a favorite poem from an old college professor, written by May Sarton. (And tomorrow we have a new project that we are really excited about). Off to do some subduing... enjoy the poem, even if you haven't lost loved ones to a violent water death.

Dutch Interior

I recognize the quiet and the charm,
This safe enclosed room where a woman sews
And life is tempered, orderly, and calm.
Through the Dutch door, half-open, sunlight streams
And throws a pale square down on the red tiles.
The cosy black dog suns himself and dreams.
Even the bed is sheltered, it encloses,
A cupboard to keep people safe from harm,
Where copper glows with the warm flush of roses.
The atmosphere is all domestic, human,
Chaos subdued by the power of need.
This is a room where I have lived as woman,
lived too what the Dutch painter does not tell --
The wild skies overhead, dissolving, breaking,
And how that broken light is never still,
And how the roar of waves is always near,
What bitter tumult, treacherous and cold?
Attacks the solemn charm year after year!
It must be felt as peace won and maintained
Against those horrible antagonists --
How many from this quiet room have drowned
How many left to go, drunk on the wind,
And take their ships into heartbreaking seas;
How many whom no woman's peace could bind?
Bent to her sewing she looks drenched in calm -
Raw grief is disciplined to the fine thread.
But in her heart this woman is the storm;
Alive, deep in herself, holds wind and rain,
Remaking chaos into an intimate order
Where sometimes light flows through a windowpane.


melissa said...

I can completely relate to this poem, Lynne. I feel like at any moment, chaos will break through in my home, and I'm constantly trying to control and subdue it. I hope it gives me enough of a respite for some more pleasurable creations!

Beth's Blue Blog said...

That is a cool poem. I agree that peace must be "won and maintained"!! I hope you have a good and restful week. -BETH

Heather said...

I love poetry. It's kind of a lost art. Thanks for sharing.

Sabina said...

I completely get this poem -- thanks for sharing it!!