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badger11

Tea

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badger11

My mother said that Catholics always

'avoid the colour red.'

 

And romantic lads.

 

That love

is like spaghetti-tangled on a fork:

impossible to swallow

its simple pleasure

without the stain.

 

The red-rimmed mouth

betraying all.

 

'It’s tea that matters,' she said. 'Hot and sweet,

not weak,

but stewed an earthly brown.'

 

I grasp the cup

and saucer.

 

We chat about nosey neighbours

and noisy kids.

We paper the walls with nothing at all.

Edited by badger11

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waxwings

What a wonderful last line, and the last 5, perhaps even last 8 or 10 just about make a poem by themselves. I also find the play between the contents and the way the lines are disposed in speace quite pleasing.

 

However, the first part leaves me wanting for something more. Seems there is a discontinuity or two.

 

Stylewise, we are taught that quotation marks are not needed, unless the text within is a verbatim quote. Commas are sufficient to separate words spoken by someone else from those used by the narrator/author to identify the speaker. Of course, I would like to know if you mean to use the semi-quotes for some other special effect. Beyond having them separate a quote made by someone within the text I am quoting, I tend to put them around words I want to be taken as having a meaning other than and esp. opposite of that which is commonly expected.

 

Let me show what I do to get a different view of a new poem I'm not sure is written right, and that is writing it out in a more prosy form that alows me to better see the syntactic flow. My add ons in red font would show where I feel I have perhaps not phrased things clearly enough.

 

Doing that to the first part of your poem I find:

 

"My mother said that Catholics always avoid the colour red and romantic lads and that love is like spaghetti, tangled on a fork, making it impossible to swallow its simple pleasure without the stain, the red-rimmed mouth betraying all."

 

BTW, who 'stews' tea instead of brewing it. ::(

Edited by waxwings

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Lake

Hi Badge,

 

Really love it. You use imagery and fathom the relationship between a couple in a lot of your poems, but I particularlly enjoy the "spaghetti" image here and how" we" toghter end the poem.

 

That love

is like spaghetti-tangled on a fork:

impossible to swallow

its simple pleasure

without the stain.

 

How appropriate, how very well said!

 

And the wisdom about tea from "mother" is equally appreciated.

 

I like the last line a lot though I'm still pondering what exactly it means. I'm not sure if L3 is part of what the mother said. When I think it is, it is because it starts with "and" and the line is only a fragment ( it seems I use this term quite frequently these days); when I think it is not, it is because the line starts with a capital letter.

 

Anyway, I enjoyed it very much!

 

Lake

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worm

Badger, I like this poem very much, the taste is quiet different from what I have ever read(not too many so far though). it refreshes me with a tinged hue. the color of red is thickly inked—where life’s philosophy starts to be revealed, avoiding this dangerous color, avoiding red-hot love, instead, taking a sip to a nicely brewed tea. Earthly brown is a special treat.

 

The last part, seems to have nothing to do with the theme, but it’s just like the tea perfuming the air, delicate and light with a lingering charm.

 

It’s a neat poem. I like the language,

 

The red-rimmed mouth

betraying all.

 

and the detail,

 

I grasp the cup

and saucer.

 

but I’m tangled by the simile, the spaghetti,

That love

is like spaghetti-tangled on a fork:

impossible to swallow

its simple pleasure

without the stain.

 

Ok, I can take it a love for fun, but I’m lost in ‘without the stain’, not very clear what you want to relate with. I’m sure when I have a good digest of the spaghetti, I would be savoring more.

 

I like tea, especially the tea from you. Thanks for your poem badge.

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badger11
I like the last line a lot though I'm still pondering what exactly it means. I'm not sure if L3 is part of what the mother said. When I think it is, it is because it starts with "and" and the line is only a fragment ( it seems I use this term quite frequently these days); when I think it is not, it is because the line starts with a capital letter.

 

It is a fragment. I say this because it lacks a verb.

 

Thanks Lake. You give thoughtful responses that challenge the writer to greater clarity.

 

badge

Edited by badger11

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badger11
Ok, I can take it a love for fun, but I'm lost in 'without the stain', not very clear what you want to relate with. I'm sure when I have a good digest of the spaghetti, I would be savoring more.

 

I always find it a 'tricky' pleasure worm. I tend to splatter the sauce on the tablecloth or even my shirt!

 

Pleased you found much to enjoy and my intentions were essentially clear to you.

 

badge

Edited by badger11

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waxwings

Thanks, badge. I truly appreciate the link. Without, I would hardly have seen the possibility of applying the quality of "stewed" to tea. But now I will.

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waxwings

Though I did feel the last part makes a significant poem by itself, I don't think you should give up the first part entirely, for I can certaily see a reworked version of it that is as good but does flow more smoothly into the second part.

Edited by waxwings

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dr_con

Badge,

 

I had read the first version first and thought it a joy! But this is a short succinct portrait which evokes todays musical find: TUNNG

 

Excellent work Badge!

 

DC&J


Join the Voodoo rEvolution. Classes forming now: http://www.integralvoodoo.org/

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Lake

Ah, badger, you cut my favorite part! Hope you can reuse it in your other poems.

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tonyv

Tea time! I love it, Badge -- the poem and that time of day. Whichever time, it may be, that is. The beverage is okay, too, but I'm a coffee drinker, and I take my coffee time very seriously. (Every morning, between nine and eleven whenever possible.) Without it, I'm stuck with a FUBAR day.

 

But your poem makes me contemplate the tea time/coffee time ritual. I think of Larkin, where he wrote, in "The Importance of Elsewhere, that "These are my customs and establishments/It would be much more serious to refuse." Yes, it would.

 

Tony


Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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worm

hi badge, Lake said she was sorry for her favorite part cut off, but now I feel more sorry to see all my loving parts are chopped down with your bold and resolute cutting knife. I like your first revision still with spaghetti. Now I read this poem as if the warming-up exercise were canceled. If now I first read your poem, I may feel on the right way, not beset with the proactive impression.

 

I like the prelude though, you must have strong reasons for your choice.

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badger11

Thank you for returning Lake, Worm and WW and for your additional comments Tony and Dr C. The edit was uncompromising, but I am always interested in what if...maybe the 'context' is needed. Either way workshops are for experimenting so no regrets....

 

cheers

 

badge

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waxwings

Dear badge, I am distressed over my comments being perhaps responsible, at least in part, for you dropping the first part. My opinion was that that part could very likely be rewised to better connected/lead to the second.

 

Here is one suggestion, and its OK if you nail it to a stump and lift a leg. Consider it a tribute to a fine idea, and, remember, any fool who can write can write a poem once the wise man tells him what it is. Words are a dime a dozen. It is the ideas that are priceless.

 

 

My mother says Catholics

always avoid the colour red and

romantic lads and

love is like spaghetti,

tangled on a fork,

making it impossible to swallow

its simple pleasure without the stain,

the red-rimmed mouth

betraying all.

Edited by waxwings

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badger11

No need for distress ww. I respect and value your insights. I very much appreciate your efforts in offering an alternative (which is similar to the original write I did not post). Never be inhibited by the 'consequences' of your comments. I am responsible for the edit (which I may revise to the original or not).

 

badge

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waxwings
No need for distress ww. I respect and value your insights. I very much appreciate your efforts in offering an alternative (which is similar to the original write I did not post). Never be inhibited by the 'consequences' of your comments. I am responsible for the edit (which I may revise to the original or not).

 

badge

 

Nice. It's good to learn and know attitudes of someone you love to exchange thoughts with. That way you don't have to worry about inadvertently saying something that might hurt feelings of the other.

 

Just noticed you have edited poem perhaps more than I found needed. BTW, you write 'earthly brown', as in worldly vs. heavenly. I think that should be 'earthy'?

Edited by waxwings

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badger11

hi WW

 

I felt that the inference with 'earthy' is perhaps 'sexual'.

 

badge

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waxwings
hi WW

 

I felt that the inference with 'earthy' is perhaps 'sexual'.

 

badge

 

I wonder if my wordiness has obscured my vieww that "earthly", as opposed to "heavenly", definitely symbolizes the "wordly", the "profane" perhaps even "sexual" or "lustful", while "earthy" stands for something characteristic of the earth or soil, therefore, for me, "organic", "fertile", "natural" and "wholesome".

 

I think you have done a marvelous rewrite. Two small quibbles:

 

Why past tense ("mother said") twice? Rest of poem says you are having tea with your mother NOW. I have it on good authority that, unless it is misleading/false to fact, present tense is poetically stronger and preferable.

 

I think the syntax of S3 is off. The semantic I saw from the start is, 'Just as it is with sphaghetty, tangled on a fork, it is impossible to swallow love's simple pleasure without getting the stain.

 

The edited version is yours to decide on, but it could be:

 

That love

is like spaghetti, tangled on a fork:

it is impossible to swallow

its simple pleasure

without the stain.

Edited by waxwings

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badger11

Thanks again WW. I will think upon your suggestions.

 

all the best

 

badge

Edited by badger11

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