OctPoWriMo Day 10

American Gothic is probably familiar to most people by the fact that it has been parodied so often throughout American culture. Painted by Grant Wood, it was a depiction of the roles of men and women (hard work and domesticity) in 19th century America. It featured a farmer holding a pitchfork  with his spinster daughter standing behind him. I’m sure there was more to it…

Recently my mother and brother were at an outdoor art exhibit where they put on their best American Gothic.


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Parodied again,

American Gothic stands

 In a New England field


No spinster daughter

No farmer father

 Elderly woman and her son


Nostalgia renewed

Modern Americana

 Iconic irony





23 comments on “OctPoWriMo Day 10

  1. Sarah says:

    Huh, I always thought it was a married couple.


    • zoebyrd says:

      I used to think that too then a few years back we were fooling around with it again and I decided to look it up… shows how the image of women was inferred… that his daughter could look so old …


  2. I always thought it was a married couple too, shows you what I know! But I love the one done by your Mom and brother, so much more interesting than the typical mom and son photo op, probably much more being said about their relationship too. I love the comparison in this, then and now, a different way of life, different roles and perspectives. Everything is different and yet in some ways maybe everything is still the same. I can only fathom such a portrait of my father and I. I wish I had more of those, to understand better what was between us.


  3. lrconsiderer says:

    I like the slippery ‘feel’ of “Iconic irony”. I think I’d need to understand a little more about the original to really *get* they layers of meaning here. You have confused me, which (for a poem) is an equally successful outcome, I think 🙂


    • zoebyrd says:

      Well I think the irony is how much roles have changed and how people continue to parody the painting. You should google images of American Gothic and look at the zombies etc… Or maybe you need to know my mother, but she is a force to be reckoned with … certainly not a stand behind a man sort of woman. Not to mention she had many children and no “spinster” blood… ( hate that word but its how the painting is described)

      Liked by 2 people

  4. LauraALord says:

    I love your mother’s take on this painting and your fantastic use of language really captures the whole thing. I love to see all the parody’s of this piece…probably because it is one of my least favorites. It’s nice to see others make it more 😀


  5. Fida says:

    Huh? Not a couple. I guess we learn something new everyday. Thank you!


  6. Ah, different versions through the generations, Zoe! Cool one!


  7. I learn something new everyday. 🙂


  8. This was awesome and fun. Love the humor, and the inspiration. As for the painting, just goes to show how our perception colors our judgement.


  9. Lance Smith says:

    Not only did I learn something here, I was treated to a great poem. Had me hooked on the first word – “Parodied” Thank you for sharing this.


  10. dyannedillon says:

    They’re so cute!


  11. […] My brother came to town and his family took my mom to an outdoor art exhibit where they did their best American Gothic impression…. wrote a poem about it on The Well Tempered Bards. […]



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