Friday, January 11, 2008

Poetry Friday: Flower in Tibet

Thanks to Tricia for her Monday Poetry Stretch (Write a poem inspired by this image)




The mountain bears it.
The rocks guard it.
The earth holds it.
The flower knows nothing of it.

Its task is to raise
its head one inch,
one inch higher
than the dirt.

I saw a flower
in Tibet.
It saw me.
I'm sure of it.

Poetry Friday
is hosted by The Book Mine Set.

25 comments:

  1. I really like this! Nice one!

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  2. Sara,

    This poem is quite different from most of the ones you post here. Its spare in language and befits the picture of a bleak landscape brought to life by one spot of color.

    That's a great photo Tricia took.

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  3. Sara, I love the definitive statements of the first stanza. And that finish--wonderful!

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  4. I love this. I've been wistfully thinking of China for months now, and this poem just reads like I feel. I so want to go back, especially to that mountaintop.

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  5. one inch,
    one inch higher
    than the dirt.

    I love the idea of the flower with one task: to strain to reach that inch, to keep the ruler in mind, and grow...

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  6. Beautiful, spare poem perfectly suited to the image. That flower also saw me!

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  7. Wonderful! I look forward to your poems every Friday!

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  8. I'm still trying to get past the use of "mountain" and "bears" together but in a way that creates the meaning you don't expect. And the rest of the poem is full of other surprises, too. What a treat.

    I also like that this is different from the poems you've shared before -- in length and structure and such.

    I also like that it's beautiful. And I really needed some beauty this morning. Thank you.

    Jules, 7-Imp

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  9. i do believe this is my first time here,, and i so liked this poem... i think i will have a look around....

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  10. YES! and Yes.

    So lovely. And it has a quality to it that makes it sound like it should be part of the canon of poems that everyone already knows and loves.

    Perfect.

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  11. OK, Sara, STOP already with the beauty. You're killing me...
    This is really really lovely, in that Basho kind of way...

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  12. I've been working on revisions all day, so it was refreshing to have these lovely comments popping up in my inbox as I worked. Thank you all for your encouragement.

    My first draft of this poem was actually quite gushy. I didn't think I was getting anything usable at all. I stripped and stripped until I got this.

    Did you see the other poems over at The Miss Rumphius Effect? That's one mighty flower to have provoked so many words.

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  13. I like how Tibet plays into it.

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  14. I love this! It reminds me of a lesson I was teaching my 4-year old granddaughter about being yourself. We talked about how a girl at preschool was making fun of her for always carrying around books as we were walking one day and i stopped to show her a blade of grass coming through the cement. I told her the grass was stronger than the cement - that it could break it clean open just by being grass. She looked and she said Grammy, I understand I will be myself and be just like the grass.

    I love this poem so much I'm going to print it with the picture and put it on our bulletin board as a reminder. Thanks so much!

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  15. Jules, I didn't notice the mountain bears until you pointed out the phrase that doesn't mean what it says!

    Sara, good thing you took the gush out of this poem since there is no water to be seen or imagined. (How DID that flower survive there?!?!)

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  16. Mary Lee and Jules (and anyone else who's still listening):

    I love simple words that have multiple meanings. They're so useful, and I try to use them whenever I can. I don't know if readers always pick up on them, but I'm hoping that at least an echo of the other meanings comes through.

    For this poem, I wanted to use "bear" in the sense of "to carry on your back" but also in the meaning of "to give birth to" and even pull in an echo of "to endure." (John, the actual place of Tibet figures in to that, doesn't it?) Also, I enjoyed knowing that the homophone of "bare" also works because the ground is so barren, and because this photo is baring that flower to the world. The only meaning that's a little off is the animal bear, but even then, I kind of like the idea that the mountain is the flower's bear.

    Enough of me. I like hearing what you guys find in this flower and this poem.

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  17. Gina: I'm so proud of you and your granddaughter. What a powerful lesson, and what lovely words on her part!

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  18. Oh, and Kelly: thanks for the "canon" comment. That totally made me day.

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  19. Gina, I hope your granddaughter writes a poem for YOU one day. Thanks for "publishing" my poem on your bulletin board.

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  20. Sara this is wonderful. I love how you have stripped it down to the "bare" words. It perfectly fits the picture. The flower's task is so basic, so minimalist, and yet so heroic. Your last stanza - seeing and being seen - so full of joy and completeness. Fabulous!

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  21. Wow, I love this. I am there with the flower. Don't we all feel that our task sometimes is to raise our heads one inch higher than the dirt.
    Lovely.

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