mary

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Catherine Edmunds
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mary

Postby Catherine Edmunds » Tue Jul 25, 2006 1:42 pm

mary

yesterday
she walked between trees
from chapel to ruin.

followed a path of sorrel
where the ground dips
into a muddy trap

raced past garden walls
neat bricks, secret delights
peaches,
stolen on a whim

remembered, too late
that sorrel poisons
the unwary

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Postby Louis P. Burns aka Lugh » Tue Sep 05, 2006 4:36 pm

Hi delph... Just wanted to post a few words acknowledging your poem; mary above.

The scope of this piece, for me at least, is truly quite amazing. By scope I mean all that is caught in the light and half-light of this poem. Things like sense of time placement, use of locations, feasting on nature and then ending with elements of either cautionary or tragedian consequence e.g;

"yesterday
she walked between trees
from chapel to ruin."

implies a yesterday that refers to something much longer ago, (looking back on her life perhap?). The timeframe of the last verse carries an immediacy or current setting in it for me.

I could be reading it wrong and I may be seeing too much in it, so please accept this. It's just that the entire piece moves with a pace that when read, by me, summons forth something akin to vivid memory. The character observations you have included throughout seem to convey wisdom acquired through age.

I researched sorrel online because I'd never heard of it before. I was pleasantly suprised to discover it's a sour herb that can be used with fish and chicken and mixed into salads. Lovely...

When I was a kid growing up here, we all ate a plant which we called 'juicy lucy'. I've never been able to learn its real name. It was a green leaf that had a sharp tang to it, bit like fresh rhubarb which had the effect of making our mouths water... Maybe it was actually sorrel... I didn't know that it was poisonous and to the best of my knowledge, everyone I knew who ate it, is still here.

Metaphorical
your poem; mary, speaks to me as though something has been lost and there is a deep sadness in the character now.

I really hope I haven't stepped over any boundaries here Delph, and that you see my review of; mary, as the first impressions of it only. All in all I suppose, if it conjours up mental imagery, whatever the reader's mind sees, it is a successful poem. I like this piece a lot. It has great presence and I will be going back to it many times. Thanks for sharing it Delph :)
Louis P. Burns aka Lugh
Administrator, editor & owner of the Sensitize © online community of forums and domain for artists, e-poets, filmmakers, media/music producers and writers working through here. To buy the Kindle book of Illustrated Poetry, Sensitize © - Volume One / Poems that could be Films if they were Funded by myself with illustrations by Welsh filmmaker and graphic artist; Norris Nuvo click here for N. Ireland and UK sales. If purchasing in the U.S.A. or internationally then please click here.

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Catherine Edmunds
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Postby Catherine Edmunds » Tue Sep 05, 2006 5:16 pm

Thanks Lugh. Sorry it's taken me more than a month to respond (ahem).

Right, back to your comments. First of all, a history of this poem. It started as a much longer one, inspired by a visit to Gibside. That picture shows the chapel and the walk, and this one shows the ruin. The 'muddy trap' (or 'hollow walk') is impossible to see until you fall down it, but it's about half way up this picture. Here's a section of the garden walls.
The photos don't really do it justice, but it is a lovely place. Very atmospheric. When I was there, I started imagining a character, that I called 'Mary', who might have lived there. I made up a great long poem about her. Most of it was crap, so bit by bit I distilled it down to what you see here.
Sorrel's a funny plant. There are two kinds. One's harmless and used for cooking, the other's toxic and eaten by children who know no better all over the place. There was a lot of it (the toxic variety) in the woods at Gibside. That added to my hinted story about the fate of the fictitious Mary.
I don't think the precise story matters. It's one of those where the reader can fill in the gaps, and every reader will do that differently. By the way, as you've just read "Sand in the Painting", you'll recall that two Sylvie and Evan have a trip to Gibside. I've only just remembered that myself... lol.

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Postby Louis P. Burns aka Lugh » Tue Sep 05, 2006 6:01 pm

Thanks Delph :)

Some wonderful photography there in those hyperlinks and now that you have explained how the piece came about I am even more impressed.

It's always interesting when I hear or read how the poetic process comes about for writers, what inspires a work, the crafting of it, the editing, everything.

I'll be honest with you. I actually thought it was a poem addressing someone we both know (all too well) who has been quite destructive of our written endeavours and those of many of our fellow writers. That was my first thought upon reading it and I assumed you had changed her name to save her some grace. Again, I guess it's down to interpretation and where the audience's minds are at upon reading. Like good art, it can mean or portray different things at various times.

Cheers :)
Louis P. Burns aka Lugh
Administrator, editor & owner of the Sensitize © online community of forums and domain for artists, e-poets, filmmakers, media/music producers and writers working through here. To buy the Kindle book of Illustrated Poetry, Sensitize © - Volume One / Poems that could be Films if they were Funded by myself with illustrations by Welsh filmmaker and graphic artist; Norris Nuvo click here for N. Ireland and UK sales. If purchasing in the U.S.A. or internationally then please click here.

ASIN B00L1RS0UI

My writing is not covered by Creative Commons policy and may not be republished without permission. All rights reserved. All Sensitize © Arts sponsorship donations and postal inquiries to:

Louis P. Burns
42 Farland Way
DERRY
N. Ireland.
BT48 0RS
Telephone (UK): 028 71219225


Click here to Join Sensitize © Arts via Facebook or to contact the site owner: Louis P. Burns aka Lugh with any forum hosting or site related inquiries.

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Catherine Edmunds
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Postby Catherine Edmunds » Tue Sep 05, 2006 10:28 pm

Now that is an interpretation that never occurred to me. As I say, it's the sort of poem where we each bring our own 'story'.

Cheers.

Delph


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