Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Harem Dance

Rosati harem-dance

Harem Dance



The harem girls dance
in turn, daily nightly
evanescent bubbles in the hookah
of his pleasure.

They serve their finest dishes; tender
quails trembling with ginseng, coriander buns
redolent of cinnamon, to tempt
his failing appetite.

Each day brings another exhibition
trapped satellites of a heavy sun
turning only the loveliest warm face
outward under his needle gaze

but behind hides the cold hemisphere
of darkness, pitted waste of light's
rejection. He ponders the pale moon
breasts of the new one from Tangiers.

In the tamarisk each night
whichever one performs
the blue nightjar snaps moths and sings
straight through to the dagger dawn.



March 2012


 Posted for    real toads

Challenge: Poem Sketching
Ella asked us to 'sketch' out a poem from a short list of words as a writing exercise, as promoted by poet and teacher Sandford Lyne. I used my own list of these four words below:



evanescent
satellite
coriander
needle





Image: The Harem Dance, by Giulio Rosati 
oil on canvas, Public domain via wikimedia commons

31 comments:

  1. There is so much to savour in this poem: the textures, tastes, sights and sounds: I love the image of girls as bubbles in the hookah, and the unperturbed nightjar snagging a bite to eat while 'a new one' is introduced to the harem.

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  2. Visually stunning, you captured so many senses in this beauty! I have to read it again~ Amazing!

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  3. this is quite a treat. you really paint a scene, and nail these cosmic personalities.

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  4. Sensual and rich in imagery...

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  5. Wonderful. Fun exercise that you took to an exotic place, yet kept very universal elements-- dagger dawn, subjugated women, contemplated breasts. K.

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  6. They turn only their loveliest warm face to his needle gaze. How perfect is that? Somehow, this seems to me to be about celebrity, and becoming a public property. Come on, artist, actress, plumb the depths of your soul for the pleasure of us ever-more-jaded members of the public mob. And remember, you can (and will) be replaced.

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    1. Don't forget the writers and poets. Though I think they just dance for each other.

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  7. For all the obvious misogynism here, this harem dance played out for me as a metaphor for the dance of light and darkness -- there's this gobbling, greedy light, devouring the pale lucence of the stars and moon, drinking off the entire jar and licking clean his lips. Such thirst could not exist of that light had no need of darkness. "The bigger the front, the bigger the back," as Jung said, and this Jabba the Hut has got one cold megalunar acreage of arse balloonig up the rear -- an old man whose goaty pleasures just can't keep him warm enough anymore. Gravity is like that too, with the bigger the object, the haughtier its rule; yet inside its all implosion, dark starlight dancing with glee. - Brendan

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    1. That's there definitely, and also the play on heavenly bodies, and the moon, trapped by the sun, doomed to be forever split in two, of course. Not exactly sure where this came from, sort of fell into my head in images with the list.Thanks for reading, and for your insights, B.

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  8. such beauty should be cherished, and he give them fleeting glances, unable to be truly pleasured as past gluttony (of all things) has left him numb! I love the line "turning only the loveliest warm face
    outward under his needle gaze" as if they know their fate hangs precariously.

    Exquisite mind you have!

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  9. As always, your imagery is stunning.

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  10. Wonderful story telling. I just realized you through the comments and prompts some of the others that you follow. Also, I just read your interview with Isador Gruye in 'imaginary garden with real toads'.

    hope you don't mind if I follow your site.

    Thanks

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    1. Thanks, nene. I've seen you at Fireblossom's haven't I?

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    2. Yes, she is one of my favorites but shhh, don't tell her it might go to her 'stamens'(just kidding, I know she's multi-lingual).

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  11. This poem took me away to Arabian Nights. It was a lovely and unexpected trip, for which I thank you:)

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  12. That is a serious list you came up with! And you created hedge-unique masterpieces with them all. These are my favorites:

    "evanescent bubbles in the hookah"

    "quails trembling with ginseng, coriander buns redolent of cinnamon"

    "the cold hemisphere of darkness, pitted waste of light's rejection"

    "the blue nightjar snaps moths and sings straight through to the dagger dawn"

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  13. A sensual feast, this one! I love the last stanza-it makes our human foibles seem so fleeting and ridiculous. Your labels are a fun read in themselves!

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  14. This had an air of sadness in the false power of a man in position. Cloaked in the finery of desire and excess is the face of the man himself.....and it is no where near as attractive as the captive souls of the young women. They start out truly beautiful but unfortunatley when free again, there is some excavation and restoration to do and then while the beuty shows thorugh again...its different somehow. Crazy good....

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    1. Yes, captivity always leaves a mark. And yes, the sort of hidden male really is the subject of the poem. Thanks for reading, Corey, and letting me know what you see.

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  15. A treasure of beautiful words put into even more beautiful images. A unique story and so well-composed!

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  16. Beginning to end, this poem is just fabulous! This is so vivid, so descriptive, whirls me right into the dance!

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  17. Replies
    1. One pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small, and don't take any smokes from caterpillers.

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  18. This is so cool...love that you got such a wonderful journey from the list of words!

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  19. Ya gotta love Coriander Buns...

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    1. Thanks for catching the nuances, Galen. of course, those nuances, you would. ;_)

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  20. It's a fragrant little cosmos this lucky old guy has. Your language and rhythm is worthy of the finest sultan's chamber, but he wouldn't have thought about the bitterness of being trapped, or the dejection of being forgotten, the themes infused in your lovely poem. Having lived three years in Istanbul, where harems used to be a fact of life, I can tell you I felt tense as a woman on the street where conservatives are moralistic, yet pastries are made to look like women's breasts.

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  21. There is so much in this poem to see, hear, smell...all the senses engaged. Love it!

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  22. Unbelievable what those words conjured up for you, Hedge. Super impressed!

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'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg