The Swallow

A 55 for Kerry’s Art Prompt at Toads. She offers us Seamstress by Cat Schappach who has given us permission to use her image.



The Swallow
“The world of men is dreaming, it has gone mad in its sleep, and a snake is strangling it, but it can’t wake up.” –
D. H. Lawrence

part Medusa,
part mother –
pieces of animals sewn to herself.
she is the sewer of clothes
so the wealthy can garb themselves.
she is the symbol in our dreams
of how we wish to appear to the world.
she sits in the midst of spring
bringing forth snakes.
she is the swallow
flying away home.

symbols taken from Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress: by Dai Sijie (Author), Ina Rilke (Translator)

22 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. sanaarizvi
    Sep 06, 2019 @ 16:35:04

    Potent. I love the images you evoke 🙂 especially; “she is the symbol in our dreams
    of how we wish to appear to the world.” Masterfully done, Toni ❤️


  2. Kerry
    Sep 07, 2019 @ 04:16:56

    I love the Lawrence quote, and these lines sum up a part of the artwork I really wished to convey but could not do as well as you have done:
    she sits in the midst of spring
    bringing forth snakes


  3. Rob Kistner
    Sep 07, 2019 @ 04:17:25

    This is great Toni, and I love the myriad of imagery — and the closing couplet is magical!


  4. kim881
    Sep 07, 2019 @ 04:54:49

    The perfect quote from Lawrence for poem and image, Toni, and I love your ‘part Medusa, part mother’ sweat shop worker, sewing ‘so the wealthy can garb themselves’.


  5. Shawna
    Sep 07, 2019 @ 08:56:41

    Wow, those first five lines, especially, are killer. The first two are my faves.


  6. Vivian Zems
    Sep 07, 2019 @ 13:38:10

    Well done, Toni! You gave her many redeeming
    features. I like that.


  7. Susie Clevenger
    Sep 07, 2019 @ 16:09:47

    I love this from the quote you chose to your very last word. You’ve pulled the imagery right into words.


  8. Sherry Marr
    Sep 08, 2019 @ 14:39:50

    Oh WOW, how I love this……the seamstress, so the wealthy can garb themselves. So true. I love that she is the swallow flying away home.


  9. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Sep 08, 2019 @ 15:26:14

    Part mother, part medusa… simply love that.


  10. Magaly Guerrero
    Sep 08, 2019 @ 16:28:08

    Armors came in all shapes, and this one is certainly wild. Also, what Björn said. I just love that image, what it promises.


  11. Mary
    Sep 08, 2019 @ 16:58:39

    Very imaginative portrayal. I can picture this!


  12. magicalmysticalteacher
    Sep 08, 2019 @ 19:02:32

    She sounds like she could become my BFF! 🙂


  13. purplepeninportland
    Sep 08, 2019 @ 20:11:16

    Love the quote you used for this evocative poem.


  14. Wendy Bourke
    Sep 08, 2019 @ 20:13:42

    An impactfully rendered piece … with a close that truly gives it wings.


  15. oldegg
    Sep 09, 2019 @ 07:00:42

    She has such a sweet face so I ignored her appendages and smiled back at her. I expect she is a quick seamstress with all those hands. I enjoyed your poem Toni.


  16. Rosemary Nissen-Wade
    Sep 10, 2019 @ 05:02:13

    I shall have to read that book! Meanwhile your images are perfect for the picture.


  17. Margaret Elizabeth Bednar
    Sep 11, 2019 @ 22:51:46

    “she sits in the midst of spring
    bringing forth snakes.

    you were able to capture the essence of the image, I believe! It is easy for one to go sinister and foreboding – but I don’t think that is what the artist intended. Nicely done, I enjoyed it.


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