Friday, February 12, 2016

Poetry Friday -- Found Object Poem Project

Photo by Jone MacCulloch

"A pipe gives a wise man time to think 
and a fool something to stick in his mouth." 
- C.S. Lewis.

Packing the tobacco correctly is as
Important as the
Proper breaking in of the pipe.
Each pipe
Smokes differently, and a good smoker can
Make one last up to 45 minutes.
One must tap the dottle from the bowl,
Know how to ream the pipe, and
Embrace the subtleties of the experience --
Rather like shooting or fly fishing or drinking

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2016

This is my favorite of the poems I wrote this week for Laura Shovan's month-long Found Object Poem Project. I got the object wrong -- it's not a pipe-reamer, it's a blood-letter -- but I had fun with the poem, so we'll claim success! 

I interviewed the former pipe-smoker who lives in my house and took these notes:

In case you're curious, to break in a pipe, you have to char the bowl gradually by smoking just a little tobacco, then a little more, then a little more. (Who knew?!?!)

I originally thought the word in my acrostic would be tobacco, but for more variety of letters, I went with pipe smokers. 

Kimberley has today's Poetry Friday roundup at Written Reflections. Put THAT in your pipe and smoke it!


  1. I love that you interviewed a former pipe smoker for this. :) One of my most vivid memories of my childhood is my father's face when he would draw on a pipe... your poem brings that back for me! Thank you!

  2. Thank you for introducing us to the rituals of pipe smoking. (I agree that the object not actually being a pipe-reamer is neither here nor there!)

  3. Learned something new about pipes today. I like "embrace the subtleties of the experience." There's a fine art to almost every activity -- it's all in the approach and attitude. :)

    Always thought pipe smokers were so distinguished. Very clever acrostic!

  4. I enjoyed that you wrote an acrostic, Mary Lee, and included so much information. I know it's just a direction but like the sound of "tap the dottle from the bowl". Nicely done.

  5. Who knew is right! Glad you had a voice of experience to guide you. Love your acrostic.

  6. I love the smell of a pipe and the acrostic is perfect. I have yet to write the poem for my photo. Still mulling it in my brain.

  7. My father smoked a pipe briefly. I loved the scent. I thought it was so romantic. Researching for this poetry project is interesting. I've loved writing with you and others.

  8. You had me wondering how you knew so much about pipe smoking, Mary Lee! My father used to smoke them, way back when I was knee-high to nothing, but I was too young to understand much about them. Love the intimacy you created with this!

  9. Dottle--I have to look that one up! Store it in my head for Words with Friends. The object is only to spur you on, and it did its job well.

  10. Thank you for sharing your story (and back story) acrostic. It brought back memories of my father's pipe-smoking stint, and buying pipes and tobacco as gifts. Though I'm allergic to tobacco (who knew there was such an allergy!), there were tobacco "flavors" whose fragrance was almost mood-altering in a pleasant way. Maybe that's why C.S. Lewis' intelligentsia could be tobacco-inspired; though I love the idea that a pipe keeps the ignorant from saying something stupid. ...Happy Valentine's Day! God bless you. Thank you!!

  11. Goodness--I'm another one with a former pipe-smoker in my past, and what I remember is the sound of the lips on the mouthpiece while drawing in and letting go, a special kind of music. This is more proof that an acrostic can be a sophisticated form in the right hands...

  12. This poem reminds me of my Uncle Henry - fond memories. I love the smell of pipe tobacco. =)


Comment moderation is turned on.