Saturday, April 2, 2011
This is a poem I wrote many years ago about one of my very favorite Degas paintings, Ballet Class. What is so remarkable to me is that for a school French project, my son Patrick, age 15, drew/painted his own rendition of the painting...not knowing my attachment to it. I felt that his art and my poem might go well together!
LETTER TO DEGAS
Just as we strain to recall
dreams upon waking, I keep
returning to your Ballet Class
struggling for clues to
secrets I know you alone claim.
Unlike Pissarro or Monet, you shun
sunlight, scenic green, moon-white
on water. Haunting the dim, gas-lit
rehearsal hall, filled with dancers
at work, you found the secret that kept
your brush stirring over arched torsos,
arms coated in sweat, fingers aching
in their perfection.
(Without effort, we witness the beauty
of first snowfall, autumn leaf-changing,
the sea-tide skimming the shore)
Yet, you wanted to see beauty becoming.
You are saying that
learning beauty is like
learning a new language.
We must live with it
moment through lifetime.
Friday, April 1, 2011
Greetings...and welcome (or welcome BACK) to my poetry blog...in celebration of National Poetry Month!
Last April, I began this blog with the intention of only posting daily for a month.
I really enjoyed the adventure, and had several followers suggest that I should have kept it "going"...
so I am excited to begin again...and who knows, maybe my musings and writings will seep into May, then June, and July....
The following poem came about after having a most lovely summer soiree in my friend, Shelley Blanton-Stroud's, backyard. The discussion at one point led to figs...and me going into a silly dissertation about how seductive the fig is...and how it was probably not an apple at all that Eve was tempted by, but a fig! Then Annie introduced the possibility of a pomegranate being Eve's demise...and on it went...
The True Story of Eve’s Seduction
On a summer patio
after several chilled servings
of grapefruit juice and vodka
glasses sweating in the valley heat
conversation turns to DH Lawrence
eases into figs and Women in Love
how luscious and exquisite the fig’s fruit
guarded in soft, purple casing .
Many insist it was an apple
and commit the historical misfortune.
This red orb of crisp flesh
is fodder for fairy tales but not well suited
for Eve’s first fall into humanity.
Yet, the soft seductive fig skin
velvet cloak of purple darkness
splits at the seams
thick with sweetness
the sugary reward
secret seeds of mystery.
Another cocktail, another prediction.
Surely a pomegranate is equally alluring
rich scarlet pods, captured inside
a thin smooth skin of hope.
Definitely this triggered
Eve’s lust and longing
for eternal perfection.
It is not coincidence
sharing this conversation,
all of us women
all of us familiar with the forbidden.