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
The poem below came to me as I was polishing it one day
and all was abandoned for the notepad and pen.
Copper Coffee Pot
An inanimate object it might seem,
Yet, is it really so?
Emotions stirred by the Pot,
The Copper Coffee Pot,
Polishing this morning,
its surface filled;
With lustre and life lived.
It had sailed the Sea, in storms,
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
All photographs © miriam ivarson
For more of Miriam’s poetry visit her blog: MY WINDOW