the kitchen table
in simple elegance,
while light from a window
trips across vermillion petals
and olive leaves,
a gift from the heart
to brighten a somber day,
they work with healing magic.
When the weather clears
and the dark soil warms
she will find a place for them outside,
in the world of growing things,
to flourish in summer sun
and sleep through winter winds—
to come full-circle
in the tenderness of Spring,
rising again in all their splendor—
a living testament of love
6 Nov 08
Rated 7.6 (8.3) by 9 users.
Active (9): 7, 7, 9, 9, 10
Inactive (4): 1, 1, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10
(define the words in this poem)
(39 more poems by this author)
(1 user considers this poem a favorite)
Add A Comment:
beautiful, artistically capturing the mental image, crafted in your words very well.
simple, and delightful, and bright as acrylic paint
it could exist without the last 3 lines, but i can see why they are there...
This one is great.
I've always digged poetry that deals with the simplicities of life.
I admire the simplicity, the story without prose, that contains this loving gesture.
Paul, this is excellent writing.
Thanks Mongrol, CheBourdain7 and Isabelle, for the encouraging comments.
"It is the nature of the artist to mind excessively what is said about him. Literature is strewn with the wreckage of men who have minded beyond reason the opinions of others." - Virginia Woolf
here you've gathered us to the world of growing things and butterfly wings and Summer and Spring -- this is like a Matisse painting in his Garden wiling away the hours in creative reverie -- peaceful write
Thanks for reading, AlchemiA and unknown, and for your comments.
I love this. You paint a picture with your words. Very sensitively written. I love it that you show so much heart.
My only suggestion would be to include a pronoun before "sit atop" in L1. The way it's written right now is as if you're telling me to sit on top of the kithen table. In L6, I'd end with a comma so that the appositive is carried into L7. I'd also uncapitalize "a" in L7 because it still will belong to the previous sentence. I know...I'm a grammar freak. Can't help it. Very simple, very pretty nonetheless.
Paul! Are you feeling fluffy? Nice 2 see u posting again! :-)
I would agree with Mong too, Paul. I think the poem would stand just fine w/o the last 3 lines. :-)
Thanks smugzy and starr. Starr, the title is actually the first line of the poem, so I really don't need the pronoun you speak of. I took your suggestion concerning L6 and L7. Thanks again for reading.
Right on, Paul. Glad I could help. :-)
I agree that the poem could end at L18, but this was written for my wife and her sister so the last 3 lines really are needed.
yep they are important to the reason this is written Paul, and very much needed for this piece
my thoughs initially were if this was a 'stand alone' piece, but it works never-the-less..
the first stanza could be beautified more in order to emphasize the elegance.
line six - olive green is a very dull green, i'm not sure you want that particular shade.
i like how the groupings of three lines brought to me an image of three tulips, not sure that's what you wanted, but that how it worked for me.
perhaps the third stanza could begin this? by the time you bring in the fourth stanza, i'm too focused on the image of the tulips that their nature and future becomes sort of an afterthought.
A gift from the heart
to brighten a somber day
they work with healing magic
the kitchen table
undertone of elegance
white light from the window
sleeps on vermilion petals
and spring bud petals. [spring bud is a shade of green i think more appropriate]
When the weather clears
and the dark soil warms
she will find a place for them outside
in the world of growing things
to flourish in summer sun
and sleep through winter winds -
to return to the tenderness of Spring,
in all their splendor [i would make these two lines one, but the triad form holds that image for me]
- a living testament
of love from sister
i mean 'spring bud leaves.' not petals.
Comma at the end of 8?
Otherwise very nice, I enjoyed it, and the only reason it doesn't pull a ten is that I feel that it could be part of a larger tale and be weaved into different story elements; as is, I have sen many poems about the growth of living things and their meanings, and this employs many semi-cliche phrases. It feels like a sentence in a paragraph, as if I am seeing the whale of Moby Dick... maybe I'm thinking too hard.
Thanks, 94, for the insightful critique. I will condider some of your suggestions, although I don't want to change it whole-sale to your version because it would be in your voice, not mine. You do make some intriguing suggestions though. Thaks so much for taking a peek.
Thakns for reading technomancer. I understand where your coming from, but I wanted this piece written in a simple form with simple language.
no problem at all, and as always you are welcome to even completely ignore any critique i make :)
I don't intend to ignore the critique 94. I'll probably go over it a few times and see what I can gleen from it. Thanks so much for taking the time.
;) anytime at all.
Edits made with thanks to 1994.
More changes. Finished, I think.
Paul, you may not like this but I much preferred this before all the changes. I particularly loved the opening stanzas before. It seems to have lost something. Just my opinion.
You're right smugzy, the more I read it with the changes the more I disliked it. Sometimes it better to leave well enough alone.
What it lost was my voice--changed it back to the origional.
Aaaaah! This is very beautiful Paul. Thanks for reinstating the original! The first two stanzas are perfect.
I love it.
Thanks again for the kind comments smugzy.
this sparks many ideas of hopeful regeneration. this poem rejuvenates me, to say the least. you carried out the optimism really well, is no doubt very majestic.
Thanks for reading, listen, and for the wonderful comment.
This kind of decent and simple, as the rest have said. I would add plain and uninteresting to that list also.
I'm not against philosophizing about gardening or human-nonhuman interactions, or even the conflict-free go-lucky action this portrays. but I am disappointed in that all you could find to express it are unoriginal cliches ("flowers brighten a day", "sleep through winter," "rising in splendor..."). if you scrapped this and started afresh with different images and words and such, I could see something a lot better coming out of this.
I like the ending - apart from the word 'living' - a sister wouldn't giver her sibling dead tulips would she? While I like the visual impact very much - red tulips are amongst my favourite flowers - the rest does seem to be stating the obvious with an over- abundance of words like 'splendour' and 'simple elegance' which are a touch hyperbolic and over-stated. I'd like this a little more tightly written and stark and then see how it looks.
such a lovely piece of poetry. i love softness.
my only suggestions are to do something with line 9 (or remove it altogether), it does not feel as sincere or creative as the rest of the poem).
the other thing is that line 16 is unusually long, making a visual bleep for me; maybe break at "full-circle"?
great poem and so nice to read after such a long time without beauty.
Thanks for the comment, jen. I used your suggestion concerning L16, not sure about L9. I get confused sometimes with so many different suggestions--I wanted this to be as simple as I could make it--I guess the is what it is. Thanks so much for taking the time to read it.
I meant, I guess the "poem" is what it is.
I can certainly respect that, Paul. It is a lovely poem.
Just glad to be able to share my thoughts. It makes me happy when people don't change everything. A lot of this is just my thoughts storming on other's poems, and that excercises my brain. and believe me, my brain needs it.
Made a couple of changes in lines 3 and 19--could use some input on whether they work or not.
Very helpful unknown. Your magnificent critique has left me speechless.
Chnaged back to original version.
I LOVE that you've the poetic maturity and brilliance to not repete "Tulips" as the first line of your poem - very wise decision. Perhaps consider switching around the order of your first stanza? L3, L1, L2: "In simple elegance/they sit atop/the kitchen table." "In simple elegance" may prove a more interesting opening line.
"Trips across vermillion petals," how lovely! Love that you chose to omit "the" - what a charming cadence this line achieves. L4 is a bit weaker than those around it - perhaps expand on this idea of olives and their leaves, and work that into another line instead?
I love the idea of the third stanza - I suggest pulling a bit more obscurity in here. Confound us a bit to really hit this idea home.
The rhythm you've constructed Ls13-18 is so pure and magnificent. Plain and simple!
I may consider ending at L18, and working the ideas of the final stanza into your title or 3rd stanza.
this is a relaxing testament of love, written in peaceful tones of color... this is just Paul S off the cuff with his continual talent even though this is a oldie but goodie... please dance the tango of pen to pad may it be yellow and legal... we love you paul... j.g. smiles
Thanks for the detailed crit WordsAndMe, I'll consider all your suggestions. Thanks for the read.
goeszon: Thanks for the wonderful comment.
^^ lol spammer's getting personally attached via inappropriate ejaculation mid stream . . .