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Renovation in Poetry: A Poem to Build Life Upon

Tim Truzy is a poet, short-story author, and he is currently working on several novels.

A beautifully preserved Carolina Vernacular farmhouse

A beautifully preserved Carolina Vernacular farmhouse

Renewing a Home

A common practice today is for people to renovate their homes. Renovation can be thought of as renewing, updating, or giving something a new look. Often, renovation simply means providing improvements to a home. Time, cost of materials, and labor are some factors to consider in renovation as well as value it may bring to the home or community. Because the concept of renewal is intrinsic in the word “renovation,” the word is frequently used in a social context.

When I was young, I marveled the machines that tore buildings down and quickly replaced them with modern structures in my neighborhood. I also felt the overwhelming spirit of loss to people in memories and treasured spaces where they dwelled and built families. I frequently saw neighbors adding new kitchens, bathrooms, or simply painting their homes, and I wondered: “What will be forgotten? What will be covered up? What will change?”

The poem below is dedicated to those feelings of my childhood. It’s a mere glimpse of the altering landscape around us. If you enjoy this poem, please feel free to leave comments. Thank you for reading: “Lost Renovations.”

A Victorian era home getting some exterior repairs

A Victorian era home getting some exterior repairs

This Victorian era home is in the early stages of renovation

This Victorian era home is in the early stages of renovation

Lost Renovation

Found my life inside my home,

Woke this morning the world a dome.

Blame can’t I a dampened dawn,

Brightened dust and dampened fawns.

Bulls dancing rumba over roof,

Fairytales flattened dunk truck scoop.

Renovate dreams pouting in piles,

Remodel all ambivalent smiles.

Plaster regrets shoulders’ stoop,

Hammered images askew my youth.

Concrete poured prom remembered sounds,

Goal posts shred hearts missing rebounds.

Words of a woman stopped backhoe,

Pen shelters her ashes escrow.

Man pulverized the lawn he mowed,

Bones void of skin a truck now tows.

Go ahead! Rename, resurface, and even replace,

Rezone, refurnish, and force a remake.

Sanitized eyes leaving no trace,

Ground morals ruthless emptied space.

Stones coveted grinning devils,

Fantasies fired dead shovels.

Transcend stories humanity,

Construct our steel insanity.

Expensive sobering mansions,

Crushing downward town expansion.

Found my life wrapped through brick and tile,

Wasting shadows ruined wooden pile.

Vitalize urbanization,

Live up poor gentrification,

Piercing strains purification,

No returns home liquidation.

Throw up walls from sorrow outside,

Rebuild mankind starting inside.

An artist mortars glass bottles to form an unusual building wall

An artist mortars glass bottles to form an unusual building wall

A Few Interesting Materials for Renovating or Making a House

Without question, humanity is expanding and will require creative ways to provide shelter to the masses. In addition, traditional resources for updating present housing structures are limited. For these reasons, new homes in many areas of the world are applying nontraditional materials to construction. For instance, tires are being used to make new homes in certain locations. Perhaps, some of the materials below will be considered in your next home project or your next house:

  • Empty Bottles – Currently, there is a movement to use bottles to make homes. Some of those houses are made from glass and concrete, similar to the picture of part of such a structure shown. In Africa and Latin America, houses made from plastic water bottles are becoming popular. However, according to some estimates, nearly 45 billion water bottles are thrown away annually in the U.S. That’s a lot of houses or building materials to go to waste! Yet, building such houses is catching on in America.
  • Hempcrete – Made from the hemp plant, this product is durable, sustainable, and even resistant to mold. Hemp is also a fast growing plant which can be ready in about four months. Hempcrete is made with the fibrous center of the plant and lime. The production of industrial hemp is expected to bring in hundreds of millions of dollars, according to some estimates this year. Used in bricks as well, hempcrete is becoming a common building product in parts of Europe.
  • Straw Bales – Straw bales are another way houses are being made today. Straw is a solid insulator and has proven to be durable. Just like the other materials mentioned, straw bale houses are relatively inexpensive. They tend to cost around twenty thousand dollars according to different sources.
This mid-nineteenth century home would be lovely with some renovations

This mid-nineteenth century home would be lovely with some renovations

Building Society

Many have argued building a better society involves teaching individuals the values and traditions which matter in the culture of the nation. To such a degree, scholars have debated whether art is an extension of the culture, or art emerges when a creative mind examines those norms skeptically. For example, Walt Whitman (1819-1892) focused much of his poetic work on American values along with the painter, Norman Rockwell (1894-1978). Although these creative men lived at different times and used different art forms to express their vision, many of the attitudes they expressed in their work is similar. However, these perceptions of America have come into question. Some modern artists are revisiting Rockwell’s work with a fresh view with cooperation from the Smithsonian Museum: A 21st-Century Reimagining of Norman Rockwell’s “Four Freedoms” at:

I take the perspective culture is fluid. We change with our surroundings and circumstances. Art will reflect those changes. We construct who we are based on our understanding. The more we know ourselves, the more art will change along with us.

Society is constantly changing.

Society is constantly changing.

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