e a m harris

Roaming the byways of literature

The poetry of housework

While vacuuming a floor this afternoon I fell to wondering if there is any poetry celebrating the thing most women, and many men, spend much of their lives doing, i.e. housework.

A quick google showed me there’s plenty on the web.

The first site I came across is an excellent blog called Campari and Sofa who posted an amusing poem – Dust if you Must. This unserious poem by Rose Milligan suggests that dusting is a waste of time compared to the other things one might be doing.

Another unserious poem is The Marvelous Homework and Housework Machine by Kenn Nesbitt on Poetry4kids.

The Marvelous Homework & Housework Machine
will always make sure that your bedroom is clean.

There is, in fact, a book about housework and poetry edited by Pamela Gemin: Sweeping Beauty: Contemporary Women Poets do Housework.

There are many other sites, humorous and serious, listed but I don’t have time to look at them all. However, next time I’m fed up with dusting, I’ll do a quick browse and have a laugh.


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6 thoughts on “The poetry of housework

  1. Why dust when you can be reading? Why hoover when you can be writing? By all means make the beds and do the washing but leave everything else until the mother-in -law is coming to visit!


  2. It makes sense. Back when women’s only purpose was to take care of the home and raise children, I’m sure they found inspiration pushing a broom. 🙂


  3. I like this quote from the American writer Erma Bombeck “My second favourite household chore is ironing. My first being hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint.”


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