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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Work in Progress


You know how you have work that isn't quite right, and you sit on it, take it out and revise it, and it still isn't quite right? Well I have this one I am not willing to give up on, but am stuck on where to go next. Can anyone give me feedback on which bits they 'get' and which bits are ?huh? ect, you know, just reader's impressions, doesn't have to be full analysis! Maybe it will light a fire under this work and get me to finalise it. I'll post it here, I promise not to get upset by anything anyone says...and I thought since I have explained chamomiles below, it may be less obscure than I think...

Chamomile Mother
for L and B

You tasted them equally–
Mother’s milk, chamomile tea,
One sweet, one bitter healer,
Soothing the night’s darkness–
Strict in the day’s relentless light.

Flower water and fragrance,
Bathed you and laved you,
Matricaria Chamomilla
Rubbed it on the hard knocks of
budding independence,
Remedy for your tears.

Bitterness to cool your blood,
Purify that daisy chain of dreams,
Your mother will tell you all the truth if you ask.
It won’t be pink through her chamomile glasses.

Love doesn’t come into it.
Love’s like the planet Mars to this plain tale.
An evening star over it all,
A daily wonder to be explored.
Curious companion for life.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

hey sis,

Loved the poem, i think i get most of it except for the last two lines. ?huh?

We had the german cham. in our garden & I always thought it was pretty. It didn't last a 3rd yr though..

Love ya!

xxxooo E

ps T thought the same. He adds that you either want to leave them off or add more to explain. Watch that you don't rush your end.

YM said...

"laved"??? Huh? But that may be just my limited vocab...

Otherwise, it's v. beautiful.

msiagirl said...

E & T, hey thanks for commenting - that really helps! Nice to get feedback from both of you too. xx lots of love!

msiagirl said...

Hi ym! Wow this is very helpful, I appreciate it. Lave - wash - from latin lavare.

Kathryn said...

I noticed the small print at the top at the end but before that upon reading this I thought about you and your mother or more accurately your experience with being mothered growing up. So it was turning the mirror round when I saw the small print. That also made sense though I hesitate to think of you as nearly so tough with them especially in these two lines.

Bitterness to cool your blood
Purify that daisy chain of dreams

which are beautiful and powerful.

I remember the title but think the poem has changed or maybe it's me that has changed. Getting at the tougher side of mothering. It's like there is supposed to be one more stanza - or maybe I just want to know more about it. :-)

Overall, very powerful and beautiful.

Kenny Mah said...

"A daily wonder to be explored.
Curious companion for life."


Strange how everyone perceives things differently. The last couple of lines were the ones that "got" me.

Something I treasure in my life now. *hugs ya for writing it*

msiagirl said...

I am having a great Monday morning with all these impressions! Really gives me a lift to tackle it.

Kathryn, I think you're right needs one or more stanzas - there's something missing, a gap. Will ponder it - and it is close to the end that needs it. Thanks for your thoughtful reading, I am tough on them...

Kenny, I wrote the last stanza first, which is why it is so difficult, but you saw through it! Thank you, thank you. *hugs ya for noticing it* Now I have to make it more accessible. I guess it is about realising this whole huge aspect of love you never knew about before and learning its ins and outs, which will take my whole lifetime to figure out!

WokandSpoon said...

That's a really lovely bit of poetry! I'm not sure I get it all but I like the imagery.

Kenny Mah said...

It's Tuesday night now, dear, as I write this, and I've noticed the HUGE difference it makes in choosing to be happy at the start of the week.

*whistles, or attempts to*

Makes me happy to find another connection with you. I think your poems work because you put so much of yourself into it.

My favourite line from a song (Sufjan Steven's "Come On! Feel The Illinoise!") has the ghost of Carl Sandburg questioning us in the chorus (via a choir of sirens): "Are you writing from the heart? Are you writing from the heart?"

You betcha you are. *grins*

Lee Ping said...

"I'm not sure I get it all but I like the imagery."

I like wokandspoon's comment but honestly I am not sure if I get it at all. Sorry that I am no help.

msiagirl said...

Thanks so much for all your comments, it all means a lot to me. Even that I was brave enough to put this out there so you can give me your impressions means a lot, as all your comments do. *HUGS*

Lee Ping said...

I thought more about your poem. Perhaps if I get to know you better, I can understand your poem. Reading poem is like deciphering a code. I am pretty good at guessing ingredients in a dish but when it comes to poem, I am a little slow. My Dad on the other hand, is an expert in poems. I should have asked him before I wrote my comment, so that I don't look so dumb.

msiagirl said...

Dear lee ping, please please don't say that - you don't sound dumb. I only asked for impressions, I don't expect anyone to respond more than they feel. This is such an obscure piece of writing from me, that even some people who know me very very well won't get everything about it. That is not what I wish - in the end a piece of writing belongs to the reader, it only means as much as they wish. I can only hope I have communicated something, even if it is only a fleeting image, and if I haven't - it is not the reader's fault. Peace.

Lee Ping said...

Good, I don't sound dumb. :)

Madcap Machinist said...

hi msiagirl,

I have a poem that have gone through 20 drafts over eight months and I'm still not happy with it!

I know it's been almost a month since you put this up, I've only just noticed it, but I'd love to help you with this one, so here are some observations:

(I hope you'll forgive me, I tend to get fussy)

Stanza 1

I heard your voice instantly as I read the first few lines... they sound naturally yours, and throughout the poem the lines come through with the same voice I heard at Seksan's. Lines 4 & 5, however, are weak, kind of schoolgirl-ish cliche (actually I wrote the same lines when I was 12) . On the whole the sentence structure of the first stanza is a bit awkward...

Stanza 2

I love the second stanza, though I think it is more appropriate to use a semi-colon at the end of the second line i.e. "Bathed you and laved you;". The 'it' on the 4th line should be removed: "Matricaria Chamomilla / Rubbed on the hard knocks of / budding independence, / Remedy for your tears." reads better. I would be tempted to give
'independence' its own line by itself if it were my own poem, but I don't see how it can work in yours.

Stanza 3

Cryptic but interesting. Consider breaking lines 3-4 and a spattering of sounds. I think, agreeing with Kathryn, this is the part--the no-holds-barred relationship we have with our mothers--that needs more attention and development.

Stanza 4

I had a 'huh?' moment here at first, though I'm always pleased to see a planet appear in a poem :-) But taken in context, I get the impression that (after the harshness in 3rd stanza) the mother's love may seem distant but is constant, and the last lines indicate a profound appreciation for its silent presence.

This poem reminds me of the sonnet structure, and it would make a great sonnet. The last stanza, in the sonnet sense, is the synthesis of the sweet/bitter theme you have. In this case the transition seems to be jarring, and I felt a disconnection when I got to the final stanza. Maybe you can find someway to connect it to the rest of the poem.

Tell me if this is helpful, and how you're getting on, yeah?

msiagirl said...

Machinist, I can't tell you how pleased I am that you've taken the time to talk me through the poem with your incisive comments. It helps me to bring into focus what I want to do with it - and I am longing for some time to sit down and be ruthless - this is the inspiration you have gifted me today (which I have to hold the feeling till later in the week!) - a lovely ripple in my consciousness I can carry with me through a very busy day. Sincere and heartfelt thanks.

Madcap Machinist said...

Glad to know I sparked your creative juices (hehe mixing my metaphors)

Good luck with the poem!

msiagirl said...

Machinist, haha sounds like you electrocuted me. Will post draft two...whenever, but I hope soon.