Saturday, October 20, 2012

Love Among The Thistles



Artichokes at Campo de' Fiori




Love Among the Thistles




Uncover the hours of the furled artichoke;
nautilus leaves hide the prickle they stroke.
Bring the soft brush of locust lips.
Peel the thorns from nape to hips.

Unpuzzle the thistle that lives
in the deep amethyst heart;
soft choke at the stem
where it all comes apart.

 ~October 2012




Sicilian Violetta artichoke







Posted  for    real toads
Sunday Mini-Challenge: The Quatrain, continued
Kerry asks us to continue to work in the quatrain form, and rattles the cage a bit by introducing two variants from Chinese poetry. I have strung together a mongrel beast of Western rhyme and meter (aabb couplets, then abxb) crossed with the Chinese Jueju form, a counted-word quatrain intended to create a mood, often erotic, where each line of the quatrain is either five words, or seven words. I did one quatrain of each.







Header Image: Artichokes at Campo de Fiori, by stijn, on flick'r


Shared under a Creative Commons License
 

35 comments:

  1. whew...i might take up eating artichoke....just saying....really nice and sensual bend this, great use of language as well to build that feel...unpuzzle...nice...

    have a great weekend hedge

    ReplyDelete
  2. you know, there is just so much really really bad rhyming poetry out there, and really bad use of meter. its just great to read something done this well, all of your traditional form poetry really. you know how to make it great. normally i don't go anywhere near that stuff, but i've come to trust whatever you post. (for so many people, classic form is all the know of poetry, and they don't even know it that well)

    "Unpuzzle the thistle that lives
    in the deep amethyst heart;"

    nice!

    btw, i love artichoke, i love in on everything

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In connection with what Wood is saying, last night when read this, even though I was so sleepy, I was impressed as can be at how you merged these forms so well and (seemingly) effortlessly. And that was before I had enough firing brain cells to understand what you had really done here. Yeesh, woman. Give the rest of us a chance.

      You gave me a license to gush, remember?

      Delete
    2. PS @ Wood...you don't seem to allow comments, so I'll put it here: Your version of So Much Depends is fucking priceless.

      Delete
    3. Thanks, both of you. Wood--your triple play made my day yesterday. Thank you very much for the compliment on form--I started reading poetry when I was so young all there was was Poe and the Alfred brigade(Tennyson, Noyes, etc) and even Emily Dickinson was still bowlderized. I think it wrote some permanent code in my programming.

      Delete
  3. Beautifully, beautifully done. So well crafted and evocative---I so enjoyed this

    ReplyDelete
  4. Beautifully sensuous. You always manage to create such wonderful pieces no matter what the form.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Brava! I love to see a poet with the confidence to experiment with form and come up with something so uniquely her own. I delight in the artichoke's transformation here. Just the words "uncover the hours" had me transfixed to the image you have offered.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Interesting how attention to the basics of word and sentence structure makes for a strong rhythm and rich texture of sounds. And phew is it hot in here, or is it me?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yikes to the form--you make it do your bidding, and it has a beautiful sound in your hands, but looks very difficult.

    The poem is lovely and very sensual, although I think healing as much as sexy. There's the element of using physical love to bare and, hopefully, heal past hurts--so much is so knotted and tied in us--and even a sense of the sharpness and pain of getting down to vulnerability. (You are not talking about onions here!)

    Unpuzzle the thistle struck me as a particularly magical combination of words, and I love the choke. A part of me thinks of (my guess of) fifty shades of grey here and that Japanese movie that I've also never seen--in the realm of the senses.-- which is what is so great about that word choke, as in the end I go for the soft core bits as strongest meaning. (Still clutch is there.). I'm on iPad so forgive some drivel here--used to have a separate little keyboard but out of juice. K.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, k. Yes, one has to be willing to get past the thorns and prickles to locate the vulnerable heart...I have so far not been exposed to Fifty Shades of Soft Porn, and have no real interest in starting. ;-) Interesting you use the word 'clutch'--I had it in an earlier version near the end line. Appreciate you making the effort of texting on that tiny device, also. (Your offering yesterday just blew me away...I hope you will publish it somewhere someday.)

      Delete
  8. What lovely poetic pieces Hedge ~ I like the sensuality brimming in your lines...peel the thorns from nape to hips is my fav ~

    ReplyDelete
  9. oooohhh very very nice. i was, however, planning to serve up artichokes to my children later today, and now it seems a little wrong. :)
    love those photos, too. are they yours? very interesting and beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! Thanks, Marian. These artichokes are probably not PG, I agree. The photos are from flick'r creative commons, credits & links at bottom.

      Delete
  10. This is truly clever. Sometimes, a piece is just fun to read, no matter the tone of it, simply on account of the nimble arrangement of the language. But here, the melancholy, been-there-and-it-hurt content is as good as the clever writing.

    The artichoke is a perfect metaphor for a heart, it seems to me, or at least a somewhat thorny, protected heart, still soft at the center. Interesting that it should be locusts, those mindless consumers of all they encounter, who arrive to kiss and undress her.

    I've never heard the word "unpuzzle" before...did you coin it here? In any case, no other word choice would have done as well. It implies, to me, a slow, careful, almost intellectual opening of the cautious artichoke. Then, my favorite lines, about the "soft choke at the stem, where it all falls apart." The choke, of course, is inedible, but the use of the word here seems to imply stem as throat, and a choking taking place, a thing taken in which will not go down, but rather, distresses. And then, the heart, no longer protected, no longer held together. That ending makes a familiar thing seem terribly poignant and heart-breaking, if you'll pardon the pun.

    Would you like to rub my bald head for luck with your next poem? I have pulled out every hair. Also, the Mars explorer has recovered the bar. Curse you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am laughing at the Mars explorer. And here I thought you had totally melted it down to make protective head gear for the rest of us. ;-) Thank you Shay. I appreciate your in-depth comment, which is probably more than this poem deserves. You as always, completely understand what I was going for. (I think I made up unpuzzle--to match uncover.)

      Delete
  11. Incredible writing, kiddo, as always. I was struck especially by "unpuzzle the thistle that lives in the deep amethyst heart." Brilliant!

    ReplyDelete
  12. This is so good! I'm in awe.....

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm speechless. Your magnificent talent does that to me. My husband is madly jealous because he can never shut me up.
    Like the others, I love "unpuzzle"...perfect to match "uncover"!
    K

    ReplyDelete
  14. Dare I use the word "brilliant" again?!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. This is great! I agree you make this form seem so easy. You certainly have set the bar for this challenge.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I don't know much about form, hedge~ok, nothing. But i know i love your thoughts and words and whatever you wanna call em is fine with me.
    I too, loved the "unpuzzle"
    So much better than the blade.
    A lovely statement about patience.
    And i always seem to be in the thorns anyway, so might as well love there

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks rick. You get used to the scratches after awhile, but the effort of peeling gets harder, I find. (I had 'razor' instead of 'locust' at first, btw...the blade is a pretty messy approach, though.)

      Delete
  17. I, especially, like the lines at the end, "soft choke at the stem
    where it all comes apart."

    ReplyDelete
  18. Your graceful weave of nature and sensuality is breath-taking, Hedge.

    Thank you for the well-wishes...this one was a bad one...two weeks of blucky.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Oh my, I melted (just like the butter I use for artichokes) with each line, every word. Perfect!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Another vote for "unpuzzle!" This is really beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thanks, MZ. Good to see you out and about. Yours was one of my favorites for this prompt.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Unpuzzle the thistle that lives
    in the deep amethyst heart;

    Until last year I had NO idea of the amount of work it takes to get TO the actual artichoke we eat. I bought one at the produce section and took it home.... and had NO idea what to do! :) Finally figured it out. This poem is brilliant and, like always, I read it several times. (Hoping some of it will soak in ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used to wait tables in a 5 star French restaurant in Chicago--we served the whole artichoke, with the choke removed of course, with the well inside filled with homemade vinaigrette, as an appetizer. They were amazing! I still make them sometimes.

      Delete
    2. Honestly. Would LOVE that recipe. I ordered a pizza once that had a ton of artichoke's on it. My family almost killed me. (I hid the cheese & sausage in the oven :)

      Delete
    3. I love artichoke hearts on pizza(and all veggies.) There's not really a recipe, just cut off the stems so the artichokes sit flat, steam them till done, pull out the center section with the choke, and chill them. Then serve them filled about a quarter way up with any good homemade vinaigrette(in a pinch I have used Newman's Own Italian, but don't tell.) As you pull off the leaves, dip them in the dressing--then the heart is the last part and is all marinated. Mmmmm.
      Now I may have to go buy artichokes! ;-)

      Delete

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