Sunday, February 3, 2013

Portrait Of An Old Monkey


Portrait Of An Old Monkey



Monkey
with a white nose
has rages like matchflames
in a spelunker's cathedral,            
sudden                
then dead, blown as quick as they're lit;
has joys small as gumdrops,        
all swallowed whole
too fast.

Monkey
drops her red hat
in gold light's lost orange trees;
sees amethyst twilight turn black...
forgets.


~February 2013






posted for   real toads
Sunday Mini-Challenge: The Cinquin
Marian Kent of runaway sentence turns her considerable talents with the cinquin into a workshop where we can explore the many variations on this tight, five-line, syllable-counting form. 


Process Notes: This poem is composed of a Butterfly Cinquin (2-4-6-8-2-8-6-4-2) followed by a traditional five line cinquin (2-4-6-8-2)



Image: Portrait of a Monkey, by George Stubbs, 1774
Public Domain, via wikipaintings.org

23 comments:

  1. has joys small as gumdrops,
    all swallowed whole
    too fast.


    Love it

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  2. ..interesting 'old' photo of old monkey..drops her red hat..colorful description of a life well lived..nice..

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  3. whooooshhhh! it would never occur to me to utter the word "gumdrops" in the same verse as "monkey" but there you go, making all kinda sense and painting many pictures. spelunker's cathedral! i love that you took to heart the idea of presenting a new image in nearly every line. yippee for cinquain!
    also, i have to say, swallowing gumdrops whole too fast? literally, a bit of a nightmare for me. if only i could forget that when twilight turns to black.
    LOVE this, Joy. as of course i knew i would. :)

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    1. Thank you Marian--praise from you on this form is praise indeed.

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  4. Vivid and wonderful. Loved it, especially the swallowing whole, which animals often do without savoring:)

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  5. A red hat monkey; now I've heard of everything! Does it take day trips with the others? Anyway, better to be a forgetful monkey than a dead lion, so they say.

    Love the Lorca quote on the side bar!

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  6. Your poem captivated me ... when I was a child I begged my parents for a monkey .. never happened. To this day I find them fascinating ... we have a chimp sanctuary in my city where I spend a few hours each month. I will remember your red hatted monkey the next time I visit.

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  7. So vivid, you have an image in every line ... the monkey comes to life with all his moods ... anger, joy ... I can see the larger metaphor here. I love the butterfly form ... even visually, the lines look like butterfly wings :)

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  8. nice...love hte play with color in the second one hedge...several points of the first really grabbed me though...the joys like gum drops swallowed too fast...that is packed sentence itself saying much...and the rages blown out quick as lit....intriguing to say the least...nice verse...and nice form...smiles.

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  9. Wow. Your similes here bring the monkey's temperament to life beautifully. Love how you used the butterfly form and then the 5 line to tell the story. For me, it rounds it out rather nicely. I think I want to try that next.

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  10. Joy you found wonder in this form! I want to dance with it myself, but I need some of your gumdrops~
    Well Done :D

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  11. so many seemingly incongruous phrases weaving in support of each other. rages, light, the gumdrop. I honestly adore the color you maintain in this poem with the spelunker cathedral background. I am heading off to read more about this form, your execution has pretty much attempted to take my breath away.

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  12. Glad you are feeling better. First I love the Stubbs. What a beautiful painting, so rich - and then the colors of your poem do justice to it. I love the spelunkers Cathedral - I have this image of a monkey rattling stalactites and stalagmites like the bars of a cage - ouch! Making a lot of racket, and yet one feels so sorry for the poor thing - I do - it's fine if you can pick out your own red hat, but to be made to wear it -

    The gumdrops are great. Agh. And in general you work the short phrases--the syllables of the form--so well--so that forgets comes with such an abruptness, as does the too fast. And yet somehow the forgets is even faster. Maybe because it comes after the long line. Well done. I did a very silly one, while taking a kind of walk. I'm so glad I didn't read any others first! (Well, all the great one's Marian had in her post, but those ones always a bit different.) The light in that Stubbs is just beautiful - and informs your poem. k.

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    1. Stubbs is a favorite--I like the face in the tree in this one, and the monkey that looks like perhaps the painter has maybe not seen a real one up close and personal, so its more the idea and spirit of a monkey. Thanks for the kind words, k. I am a bit better indeed, but mostly just couldn't resist this form. I love yours--and how the one piece of ice looks like an egg in a nest in your second pic.

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    2. Thanks - I'm seeing kind of owl face in close tree. I think sometimes an artist can create an idea of an animal which we recognize better than a more realistic picture as it fits into our notion of it.

      I think the problem in my blog may have been an old google account which sometimes insisted that that was the account that I should be using. I've tried deleting it; I don't know. Maybe will fix. k.

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  13. Joys small as gumdrops...love that line. If you have enough gumdrops what a transformation that could be...You always amaze me!

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  14. absolutely love this and the ending is perfect!

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  15. Such an amazing description of life lived in its immediacy. I thought of Gaudi's cathedral, Sagradia Familia, with your line- rages like matchflames in a spelunker's cathedral and could picture the monkey swinging on the architectural branches. There's a poignancy to- joys, small as gumdrops, swallowed whole and too fast- that I really like. Glad to have you back.

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  16. Just beautiful! Technically perfect, but more than that, I marvel at how much you say in so few words, and that is through your richly textures imagery. The spelunker's cathedral, the gumdrops and the colours turning. This is a little treasure.

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  17. Awww - poor monkey. But at least the monkey enjoyed it's time. As always, beautifully textured, hedgewitch.:)

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  18. God, that's us, isn't it? Wow, Hedge.

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  19. Hedge, for starters, the use of the Stubbs monkey portrait... a monkey that doesn't really look like a monkey, yet not abstract. Sort of like a golden sock monkey! Your use of "gumdrops eaten too fast" does not bode well for this little guy. Then a song comes to mind, a parody: "What do you do with a gumdrop monkey/what do you do with a gumdrop monkey/What do you do with a gumdrop monkey/Early in the mornin'?" Time for my meds! Amy
    http://sharplittlepencil.com/2013/02/04/cinquains-for-real-toads/

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