Family Histories: The Copper Coffee Pot

Welcome to Family Histories, a series of guest posts by some of my favorite bloggers in which they explore family . . . and history. The families and the histories are sometimes the writers’ own and sometimes not.

Today I’m happy to share a poignant poem from MIRIAM IVARSON about connecting to her seafaring forefathers when polishing a family heirloom.

I wouldn’t be surprised if you just look at the title
and think;  Coffee Pot!  What is there to say about such a
seemingly everyday object?
And I would understand you, but please stay with me a little
longer through this post.

In my About page I hint that there will be stories coming
that show vignettes of my life both in England and Sweden.

O.K. , I can hear your frustrated sigh, so why a Coffee Pot?

This Copper Coffee Pot is very old, goes back to my
Grandfather’s days. It was an important part of the men’s life
and I am now the caretaker, until such time that it passes to the
next generation. It has pride of place and I often tell the stories
that were told to me, hence giving my children a feeling of their
ancestors.

The poem below came to me as I was polishing it one day
and all was abandoned for the notepad and pen.

003

Copper Coffee Pot

An inanimate object it might seem,
Yet, is it really so?
Emotions stirred by the Pot,
The Copper Coffee Pot,
say no.

Polishing this morning,
its surface filled;
With lustre and life lived.

It had sailed the Sea, in storms,
in hurricanes,
also in still, smiling swells.
For seven men it brewed every day,
Gave warmth and cheer,
clattered its spout lid to say;
Coffee ready, take a break.

Men with strength of body and heart,
with purpose and skill;
In tune with the elements each day,
feeling the mood of the Sea.
Respecting and honouring,
Its power, its gifts.

Their work was heavy,
cold, among waves,
Full trawls spread smiles.
No-one minding the tearing of
sinews, muscles and backs.
In this age old task.

These men were my ancestors,
part of who I am, and I of them.
Their lives, their hands had touched me,
Given me strength.

The Copper Pot in my hands
A cherished and vital part
of their days.
Here they met, found warmth,
succour and laughs.

An empowering friend.

© miriam ivarson

Vinga lighthouse

All photographs © miriam ivarson

For more of Miriam’s poetry visit her blog: MY WINDOW

***PS~ Also had a thought that Miriam’s poem and a story shared by ANNIKA PERRY  here on Family Histories are great companion pieces. You may want to check it out! LOSS OF A PATRIARCH

7 Comments Add yours

  1. delphini510 says:

    Adrienne, thank you for the great honour of featuring one of my poems!
    I am thrilled and you have done such a generous work, It was a big smile this morning.
    By the way, the last photo is of me as the ferry to England passes the last lighthouse and I call home to say bye, see you soon.

    Miriam

    Like

    1. It is totally my pleasure!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Miriam, we are already blog friends so it’s a treat to see you here on Adirenne’s blog as well.
    This poem, a loving tribute to your ancestors, is a sensual delight. I really enjoyed reading about your sailing forefathers. Of course, sailing is in your Swedish blood, but you brought it to life, and all through the image of a copper teapot, something not usually associated with the gritty life of sailors. I can see exactly how the memories of this teapot imbue you with pride.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. delphini510 says:

    Wow Sharon, what a wonderful comment. A sensual delight. If ever I give out a book I want that quote in it. 😊 . Indeed we are blog friends and you are always interesting and your comments so generous.
    As to coffee, that was and is the favourite brew. I am also a coffee drinker.
    Are you thinking of the songs with rum and drunken sailors.😊. No alcohol on these boats and that I know. It is constant work, sleep in shifts …but they love the sea and yes, so do I, you are right.

    miriam

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good grief, you wrote “coffee pot” over and over but I kept seeing it as a teapot! The brain does what it wants to do. My admiration remains intact.

      Like

  4. carlamcgill says:

    Wonderful object and poem! My dad loved the sea as well, as I do, and those kinds of artifacts from our families are indeed precious!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. delphini510 says:

    Thank you so much for your positive comment, I am glad that Adrienne featured this older poem as I get to meet also new writers. Yes, there are artefacts that definately can’t be listed as ‘clutter’. They give to you.

    miriam

    Liked by 1 person

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