Sunday, March 3, 2013

Quince X 2



Quince




Quince 
(free verse )



Stark tangle of december
black and bare, sharp and brittle,
hook twigs a shakespearean drama of thorns
spotlighting from darkness the posturing coral bud.

Life in death, wildfired and torched
over every branch, its ending
smoothed by something born
swelling in promise:

a Paris green blast of
bitter juice.





Quince
(shorter, as a shadorma)

Earth's burlesque,
december's bare black
theatre,
masque of thorns 
flaring color from darkness;
posed bud, bitter juice.




~March 2013



Quince



posted for  dVerse Poets
Poetics: Short Verse
Fred Rutherford's challenge is to tell a complete story, and to 'maximize effectiveness' through brevity. I wrote the first version of this free verse, then decided to see if I could shorten it by using a favorite form of mine known as the shadorma--a six line poem with the syllable count of 3-5-3-3-7-5. I'm not sure which version is more effective as they turned out rather differently. Thanks for the challenge, Fred.


Process notes: Paris green: " is an inorganic compound more precisely known as copper acetoarsenite. It is a highly toxic emerald-green crystalline powder that has been used as a rodenticide and insecticide, and also as a pigment, despite its toxicity..."~wikipedia  

Quince, on the other hand,  are completely edible and non-toxic, but extremely bitter.

Definitions of burlesque and masque.



Hover mouse for image credits, or click on picture to go to photographer's page @ flick'r  creative commons.

25 comments:

  1. in the first....the bit that really stuck out to me was...

    Life in death, wildfired and torched
    over every branch, its ending
    smoothed by something born
    swelling in promise:

    through out the whole piece the contrasts are really cool...with life and death...

    the second one though is my fav...smiles...the first 3-4 lines really set it up in a fresh way for me...and again ending on the contrasts...

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  2. I enjoyed reading them- one then the other. The first carries your strong, image-rich voice with much movement. You condense marvelously. The second is a firm and sure show of beauty. I'm happy to receive this introduction to the shadorma form.

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  3. The quince blossoms are beautiful. Interesting, always, when you show two versions of the same work, to see what you've shorn and what you've kept.

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  4. love the shadorma version especially, so stark, every word like a thorn striking flesh (there's something about that form!); in the first poem,
    "Life in death, wildfired and torched
    over every branch" (wow!)

    gorgeous photo too

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  5. I agree with you that I'm not sure which version is most effective. I really enjoyed them both. The life from death theme shows in both. Thanks for explaining the "Paris green" reference. Again, I learn something from reading your poetry!

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  6. ... 'a shakespearean drama of thorns' and 'Life in death, wildfired and torched' what wonderful use of language ...

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  7. I especially like the first version...I enjoyed the extra words of description in it...a beautiful illustration of what can emerge from seeming death. And thanks for the meaning of the Paris green...had not heard of that substance...would be fearful in using it as a pigment.

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  8. so glad to see you here Hedge. Really like how you showed both the original and the pared down version. You definitely maximized effect in the shadorma, and as nice the Quince is, you really didn't sacrifice all that much through the paring down. Wonderful example of the Poetics theme. Thanks for sharing with us.

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  9. both are very cool hedge..the wildfired and torched..what an image..and my fav... masque of thorns
    flaring color from darkness....

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  10. nice! i like them both, they elicit different emotions, i think. i forgot about shadorma! *runs off to write*

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  11. Really lovely imagery, with surprising word-choice and figurative language. I think I prefer the first, but it's a close call. Both are vibrant and alive.

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  12. I love your style Hedge, such rich imagery. I am vacillating over which I like more, both offerings are just excellent.

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  13. Ha. I think I tend towards the second, but they are both a lot of fun and definitely illuminate each other. But oddly, I felt like the second was more direct in a way. So interesting to see. I do love Paris green though. Great color! with so many undertones.

    But here's something I wonder about - and don't know if it's my crazy mind which really does jump to kind of ridiculous dysfunctional places - but I keep thinking of Peter Quince - and a kind of Midwinter's Night Dream - does this make sense - but you have the Shakespearean drama of thorns, and then the burlesque too, and not much more burlesque than the Rude Mechanicals. I'm not sure how it fits though - except that I find that whole tale - so very sad even in its comedy - I almost always weep during that part of the play -

    If I am making this Pyramus/Thisbe bit up - I'm sorry. If not, maybe it's something to bring out more? I say this being just a complete sucker for Peter Quince. The real quince is beautiful too, of course! k.

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    1. Of course, you may just mean the burlesque as the December color! (I really am quite tired tonight.) So, I may be going in just bizarre tangents. (Or maybe that's why Shakespeare chose Peter Quince as a name - I don't know.) k.

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    2. I'm only barely remembering that character from Midsummer Night's Dream, (which I've only seen back in high school performed by the school drama club, though I've read the play on and off over the years when in a Will meets Titania sort of mood...I'm mostly remembering the ass right now; yes, pathos for sure )so definitely did not have it in mind here--when I think of Peter Quince it's in terms of the Stevens poem, usually. No, the shakespearean drama I was thinking of was more along the lines of Romeo and Juliet, beautiful rather overwrought flowers, bitter fruit--sort of the lot of romantic angsty youth--plus, life ended for a supposed ideal love is pretty bitter juice, no matter what a great play it makes.

      I'm glad you enjoyed the second--it really is pared down, and feels very different. Odd how brevity can work--that's why I love these short forms, because they make me think in ways I normally don't.

      Thanks as always for your insights and attentive reading, k. I hope your moving ordeal is winding to a close and rest is on the horizon.

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    3. Ha. I wish! No, I've managed to stretch everything like a cat's tail being cut - inch by inch. I do not actually have to leave my apartment till the end of March! But I have done most everything very early due to paranoia and certain family travel plans that made moving in late March very difficult. So, I will be in a nearly empty apartment much of this next month, but at least can focus on work and getting a fairly big trip organized.

      The second feels very pared down, but it works it. Both do. The Stevens - I'll have to re-read - I only got the vaguest image of it. I have happened to see Midsummer's Night Dream several times over the last few years. There is also a fun movie - a lot of it is not that great. but the Piramus and Thisbe/Peter Quince part is really well done. Sorry for this distraction of all of this. k.

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  14. I get so excited when the quince bloom...such beautiful velvety petals make me fully appreciate the grandeur of spring.

    "a Paris green blast of bitter juice..." - that is perfection, hedgewitch.

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  15. Beautiful, both of them. But the first wins my heart this week for this: and this: a Paris green blast of bitter juice....
    I have never seen a quince, not even sure if it is a bush or a tree, and I wonder what zones it prefers...now want to try it in my own backyard.

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    1. Thanks Lydia. I have a preference for the first also, I admit. Flowering quince is way easy to grow, tough, drought tolerant and hardy--up to Zone 5 I think. More horticultural blah blah blah below. ;_)

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  16. Sorry it didn't take my first "this" which was this: Life in death, wildfired and torched. (Seems I am computer-challenged the last 24 hours!)

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    1. It's a malady we share, Lydia. Flowering quince is a shrub, gets about waist high, but while it is a tough old bird, its bloomtime, spectacular as it is, is incredibly short. It does have the honor of blooming first, though--usually at or before forsythia and crocus time--then a week or so later, it's leafing out and is just green, with nasty thorn-like twigs. The fruit is only good for preserves--very very tart, and seldom used--the flowering species' fruit is even smaller, harder and less delectable than other types. Also, it's hard to get a good color--the reds are kind of harsh and off, the white is hard to see, so if you do go for one, try to find the salmon or coral flowered kind.

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  17. I was enthralled, reading the first version - but much prefer the second. A real jewel of a poem!

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  18. I think the shadorma really shines. Both are gorgeous, though.

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  19. I love love love the quince shrub...you put it right up there on the pedestal it deserves;)

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