April 8, 2017
The Family Farm

—Norbert Krapf
Posted in celebration of National Poetry Month

Catalpa beans hang
dry as dead bones.
An old tractor stands
in the shed like
a sagging work horse
put out to pasture.
The hollyhocks and mums
no longer come up strong.
The silo wears stains
up and down its ribs,
the barn door
no longer closes,
and the coon hounds
have fallen asleep
forever beneath
the old walnut tree.

—Norbert Krapf (Dubois County)

This poem is from Songs in Sepia and Black & White (Indiana University Press, 2012).

Photo by Richard Fields © 2016

Former Indiana Poet Laureate Norbert Krapf, author of eleven poetry collections, is a Jasper native who lives in Indy. His most recent books are about surviving abuse by a priest in childhood, Catholic Boy Blues (2014) and the prose memoir Shrinking the Monster (2016), winner of an Illumination Book Award. He has collaborated with jazz pianist Monika Herzig and bluesman Gordon Bonham, Indiana photographers Darrell Jones, David Pierini, and Richard Fields, and is the winner of a Glick Indiana Author Award and a Creative Renewal Fellowship from the Arts Council of Indianapolis.

Poetry Prompt: An Imagistic Place Poem
Paint a picture of an Indiana landscape using specific details and comparisons. Let the images themselves suggest the atmosphere and elicit emotion. Tighten each line to avoid unnecessary words.

Indiana Humanities is celebrating National Poetry Month by sharing a poem and prompt every day in April. Indiana Poet Laureate Shari Wagner selected these poems and wrote the prompts.

Posted In: Poetry

2 responses to “The Family Farm”

  1. Cheryl Moreland says:

    …like reading a page out of my own journal growing up in the countrysides of north central Indiana. Hoosier at heart. Lovely poem. Thanks for sharing Norbert’s poetry this month.

    • Norbert Krapf says:

      Thanks, Cheryl. This is part of a series in tribute to Wendell Berry, mainly in reference to his fiction. So this is an exception.

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