Eratosphere Forums - Metrical Poetry, Free Verse, Fiction, Art, Critique, Discussions Able Muse - a review of poetry, prose and art

Forum Left Top

Notices

Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Unread 10-25-2019, 04:05 AM
Ann Drysdale's Avatar
Ann Drysdale Ann Drysdale is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Old South Wales (UK)
Posts: 4,902
Default Another Way of Looking at it...

.
.


Applestar

The wicked queen took up the pointy dagger
and sliced the apple downwards so it fell
red-half, green-half taking the secret poison
straight to the Princess – take the ripe half, dearie –
and so the easy deed was done. She died.

We face each other now across an apple
but you can trust me not to poison you.
Instead I’ll show you an old magic. Watch me
slice it with one clean sweep across the middle
so both of us can get the best of it,
surprise its babies in their toenail cradles
and touch the five points of Pomona’s star.
.

Last edited by Ann Drysdale; 10-25-2019 at 08:08 AM. Reason: put a full stop at the end, while considering further suggestions.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Unread 10-25-2019, 05:31 AM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Iowa City, IA, USA
Posts: 8,203
Default

Ann, I enjoyed your take on the fairy tale. As I read the last line, I mentally rhymed it: "See how beautiful they are." That is a beat too short to match your lines, but it seems consistent with your meaning in terms of the different ways an object can either separate people or bring them together, depending on how you slice it. I'm reminded, too, of your poem "My Father Practises Penmanship."

Susan
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Unread 10-25-2019, 07:17 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: TX
Posts: 4,952
Default

Hi Ann,

"Applestar" to me is unexpected, but I also quite like "Another Way of Looking at an Apple" as a title.

The wicked queen took up the pointy dagger
and sliced the apple downwards so it fell
red-half, green-half taking the secret poison
straight to the Princess – take the ripe half, dearie –
and so the easy deed was done. She died.

Pointy suggests to me that the addressee is a child, which matters increasingly in S2. You have an interesting play with feminine endings throughout the poem, and i wondered whether you'd like to use them exclusively. I also thought about removing "easy" and ending "The princess died," to avoid pronoun confusion.

We face each other now across an apple
but you can trust me not to poison you.
Instead I’ll show you an old magic. Watch me
slice it with one clean sweep across the middle
so both of us can get the best of it,
surprise its babies in their toenail cradles
and touch the five points of Pomona’s star

I love the opening two lines. Like Susan, I found myself hoping for rhyme somewhere in the poem, for instance at the close. Not sure if you wanted no punctuation to end?
I found the whole piece an enjoyable read, both anchored and again unexpected.

Cheers,
John
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Unread 10-25-2019, 08:40 AM
Ann Drysdale's Avatar
Ann Drysdale Ann Drysdale is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Old South Wales (UK)
Posts: 4,902
Default

Thanks Susan and John.

Susan, that poem about my father's penmanship (workshopped here) was what superseded this one on the final list for inclusion in my last collection. I felt that it was the better poem, so this slid back into the work-in-progress file. Your own Queen reminded me of it, so I brought it back into the light. I am happy that you like it.

John - I had never noticed that confusion of pronouns and now I can't unsee it. I'll try to sort it without saying "Princess" twice. The "pointy" was more a nod to the provenance of the story - a fairy tale, as Susan mentioned (Grimm Bros.) than an indication of the age of my listener. I don't mind it's being a child, though; I just hadn't thought of it. I know I showed the star to my own kids.

I have put in the full stop at the end. I went back to the copy in the file so I could put it there, too, only to find that it was there all along. I had trimmed it off when I copied it for pasting. Thank you for liking my feminine endings. I do love the way they ease an enjambment. I want the gentleness of easy speech.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Unread 10-25-2019, 05:07 PM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Staffordshire, England
Posts: 3,155
Default

You could say 'And so she took a bite. And so she died'. I think it's clear who 'she' is there. I'm sure you have ideas.

I love this for the sweet idea and for the extraordinary detail of the 'babies in their toenail cradles' and 'the five points of Pomona’s star'. I remember. I remember eating a pomegranate with a sewing needle and my dad peeling bananas the other way round because 'that's how monkeys do it'. Such games with fruit!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Unread 10-25-2019, 05:51 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: TX
Posts: 4,952
Default

Monkeys totally eat bananas the opposite way than humans, and they are quite right. :-)
Yes, toenail cradles is lovely.

Cheers,
John
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Unread 10-26-2019, 07:35 AM
Mary McLean Mary McLean is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Cambridge UK
Posts: 1,115
Default

Your narrator makes a much better mentor than my sister's
I also loved the toenail cradles and the star. I never cut my apples that way but will try it directly.
The only thing I can think to suggest is 'older magic' instead of 'an old magic'. Both are old magics, and I think the comparator adds a bit of meaning (to me). A sort of yearning for the fellowship of the primeval matriarchy, before the patriarchy turned us into enemies.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Unread 10-26-2019, 05:31 PM
Jan Iwaszkiewicz's Avatar
Jan Iwaszkiewicz Jan Iwaszkiewicz is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia
Posts: 2,679
Default

A 'pointy' dagger is a bit tautologous is my only nit. This is delightful Ann I loved the 'toenail cradles'.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Unread 10-27-2019, 11:56 AM
Aaron Novick Aaron Novick is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Lafayette, Indiana
Posts: 1,906
Default

Ann, I like this one a lot. I like the presence of a definite story in S1, then a more indefinite, open-ended encounter in S2. I can feel myself in the scene.

I had no issue with the pronouns in S1—of course it's the person who took the poison who died. I think context does all you need there. Trust the reader.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Unread 10-28-2019, 11:30 AM
Ann Drysdale's Avatar
Ann Drysdale Ann Drysdale is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Old South Wales (UK)
Posts: 4,902
Default

Thank you all. I'll look again at the pointy dagger and perhaps have a little more faith in my pronouns.

I'm glad so many of you like the toenail cradles, despite the lengths we all go to to avoid eating them by accident, the appley equivalent of gristle.

I'm glad, too, that Mary found echoes of the matriarchy but a bit sad to confess that I didn't put them there on purpose.

I'll let it rest awhile, but I'll put the two halves back together so that the surfaces won't go brown.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



Forum Right Top
Forum Left Bottom Forum Right Bottom
 
Right Left
Member Login
Forgot password?
Forum LeftForum Right


Forum Statistics:
Forum Members: 8,017
Total Threads: 19,935
Total Posts: 255,150
There are 342 users
currently browsing forums.
Forum LeftForum Right


Forum Sponsor:
Donate & Support Able Muse / Eratosphere
Forum LeftForum Right
Right Right
Right Bottom Left Right Bottom Right

Hosted by ApplauZ Online