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Ode to the vacuum - it's national poetry month

Consumer Reports News: April 04, 2011 05:13 PM

“I munch, I crunch. I zoom. I roar. I clatter-clack. Across the floor.” So begins the poem “The Vacuum Cleaner’s Revenge,” by Patricia Hubbell. It’s National Poetry Month, and with inspiration as close as our own vacuum labs, we wondered how many other poets had chosen this unlikely muse. The answer? Plenty.

We found silly poems and serious ones, haikus and songs, and were even wowed by wedding vows. “I Wanna Be Yours,” attributed to John Cooper Clarke, begins: “I wanna be your vacuum cleaner; Breathing in your dust” and moves on to another household appliance, “If you like your coffee hot, Let me be your coffee pot.”

And at the end of a marriage, a bereaved husband mourns his departed wife in a poem called "The Vacuum” by Howard Nemerov. “The house is so quiet now,” he writes. “The vacuum cleaner sulks in the corner closet.”

The house in the “Vacuum Cleaner Monster” by Tommy G. is far from quiet. “RWWAAAAARRRRR! RRROOOOAAARRR! The sound of a monster I was sure,” a child cries out in horror before seeking out his mother. “She grabbed that monster and pushed it around ... Teach that monster to mess with me! That's why I LOVE My Brave MOMMY!”

In fact, vacuums seem to sum up a lot of family memories and emotions. “Grandma always said. Most days she met me at the screen door with a feather duster or our new Electrolux vacuum,” writes Nin Andrews in “Cleanliness is Next to Godliness.”

We’re not literary experts at Consumer Reports but we do know a lot about vacuums. Our readers' tastes tend to follow. The article, Our pet-hair test gets tuft, on our new vacuum tests is one of the top read on this website. And while we’re not adverse to verse, sometimes prose is the best approach.

Still, it’s fun to read the many odes to vacuum joy such as “I’m a Vacuum Cleaner” by Tobias Lidstrom, which ends, “When I’m all done, I can see the smiling faces saying good job, well done!” Well done, indeed.

Mary H.J. Farrell

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