Puritan Kitchen, Then & Now

Always, the kitchen--
crafted in oak,
bluestone & pewter--
command central,
veritable heart ‘n soul,
where it all went down.

Wide floorboards
softened by generations
of slippers
pacing rag rugs, words
chosen with precision
to make a case.

Whither she goest
or won’t she, will they
say yes or no?
The same kitchen,
same desires, worries,
wonderings & wanderings.

All of which argue in favor
of just curling up by the fire.

Mrs. James Ward Thorne (American, 1882-1966)
Massachusetts Living Room and Kitchen, 1675-1700
from Art Institute of Chicago, Thorne Miniature Rooms
For Margaret’s prompt to the Real Toads: It’s All About Place


  1. ..."words chosen with precision to make a case"! The heart of the home is what you described for me... just lovely :)

  2. Lovely tribute to kitchens everywhere and especially this particular room!

  3. Kitchens are the heart of the home and your description creates a warm sense of belonging to this place.

  4. Amen. O! I'm writing a little nothing right here under the poem! I nearly didn't notice that. I love the way you pick up the patterns inscribed in the kitchen space.

  5. I love the room you chose from the many in the Thorne collection, Marian. It really is one of those heart-of-the-home places, with rag rugs and pewter, with pots hanging on the fireplace. Your last two lines make me feel comfy and sleepy.

  6. This expresses exactly how I feel about the kitchen of a home. It's where pretty much everything goes down.

  7. thanks, friends. i started off talking about the kitchen and making some kind of point about everybody having a puritan streak :) but am glad i reined it in. heh.

  8. I love how you aligned the heart of the home..it is always in the kitchen where families' heated matters
    surface and love bubbles over!

  9. Love it, Marian--totally agree that the kitchen is 'command central,' heart and hearth, and your poem really does an exceptional job of showing how closely it is tied with the female, our identity, our self. Best of all, while it is serious, it doesn't take itself too seriously, because creating that curl-up fire with a minimum of fuss is exactly what it's all about in the end.

  10. love the details in the poem.......a wonderful write up

  11. And so it is the command central ~ Lovely capture of family's heart & soul ~ Happy weekend Marian ~

  12. hope you all are having a wonderful weekend, too. we are having some perfect days here in New England. :)

  13. yes, indeed! the kitchen is where everything important happens, at least in my house!

    1. yes, i think probably in most people's houses :)

  14. Absolutely! Kitchens and fireplaces do seem to be the hearts of homes. Lovely read Marian.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts!