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Frank Lloyd Wright, Copper Urn

He focuses on a favorite—repoussé—
places the urns in the Dana house,
Coonley house, Unity Temple,
his own house. In a dining room,
two on opposite sides
like repeating copper spittoons,
separated siblings spurning connection.
Urn with dried branches, flowers,
weeds. This is before he secedes from Kitty,
takes Mamah, before the yearning
loosens the life bolts,
before he lets his hair grow over his collar,
before he’s displeased
at not-big-enough commissions. Later,
all hope lost.

Ever-restless, ever-separate,
he shakes from his sleeve
corrugated copper roofs at Auldbrass—
its brass (copper and zinc)
screws and fittings, clerestory glass
in the main house, copper spires,
downspouts that evoke
Lowcountry Spanish moss—
Wright’s only southern plantation.
It’s World War II—he yearns for copper,
though the copper he gets is thin.
Nina Lunn Stevens, third wife of his client,
is dissatisfied too. Wright throws up his hands,
cables her husband, All hope lost.
Near the lake, like separated siblings,
a grove of cypress trees iterates the vaulted
interior, the dissatisfaction,
the exterior’s board and batten.

 

 

 

Susana H. Case is the author of three books of poetry: Salem In Séance (WordTech Editions), Elvis Presley’s Hips & Mick Jagger’s Lips (Anaphora Literary Press) and 4 Rms w Vu (Mayapple Press, forthcoming in 2014). Please visit her online at http://iris.nyit.edu/~shcase/.View poetry by Susana H. Case also appearing in Terrain.org Issue No. 16 and Issue No. 15.

Header image: Pew House final presentation perspective by Frank Lloyd Wright, courtesy The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.