An Abundance of Courgette, But No Apple Tree (revision4)

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Macavity
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An Abundance of Courgette, But No Apple Tree (revision4)

Post by Macavity » Mon Aug 05, 2019 8:13 pm

revision4

To stress his plants Eve whispered for a frost.
Her lover was like her Dad. He spread his cloth:
one seed per pot, a comfort bed of compost.
He bought a cloche and waited for May's warmth.

She found mum's book, so cunningly weeded
with cryptic notes. A scrawl of woman's pleasure.
Peeling skin, dicing flesh, revealing seeds:
these courgettes were a shameless, fruited treasure!

Eve bakes a ratatouille and tastes the conceit
of knowing myth comes from a male flower.
Though truth is those russet scents still linger
along her limbs, between the sheets, a heat

to climb without a ladder the orchard trees
and let no apple fall. What is it to be free?


revision3

Eve whispered for a frost to stress her lover,
but he nurtured, gave up time like her Dad:
one seed per pot, a comfort bed of compost;
he bought a cloche, waited for May's warmth.

Eve found her mum's overused recipe book
with cryptic notes. Deciphered her pleasure.
Peeling the skin, dicing the flesh, revealing
the seeds. His treasure's an unashamed fruit!

Eve baked a ratatouille and tasted the heat
of knowing myth comes from a male flower.
An orphaned child, she went scrumping in Kent,
was never caught, got the name tag from the lads.

That's one story. Where russet scents still linger
along her skin, between the sheets, a whisper
to climb without a ladder the orchard trees
and let no apple fall to bruise her dreams.


revision2

Eve whispered for a frost to stress her lover,
but he nurtured, gave up time like her Dad:
one seed per pot, a comfort bed of compost;
he bought a cloche, waited for May's warmth.

Eve found her mum's overused recipe book
with cryptic notes. Deciphered her pleasure.
Peeling the skin, dicing the flesh, revealing
the seeds. His treasure's an unashamed fruit!

Eve baked a ratatouille and tasted the heat
of knowing myth comes from a male flower.
She went scrumping in Kent with the lads,
got the name tag. It stuck. So the gossip goes.


revision


Eve whispered for a frost to stress her lover,
but he nurtured, gave up time like her Dad:
one seed per pot, a comfort bed of compost;
he bought a cloche, waited for May's warmth.

Eve found her mum's overused recipe book
with cryptic notes. Deciphered her pleasure.
She baked a ratatouille and tasted the heat
of knowing myth comes from a male flower.

Peeling the skin, dicing to cubes, reveals
the seeds. These label a courgette a fruit.
She went scrumping in Kent, was never caught,
got the name 'Eve'. It stuck. So her story goes.



original

Eve whispered for a frost to stress her lover,
but he nurtured, gave up time like her Dad:
one seed per pot, a comfort bed of compost;
he bought a cloche, waited for May's warmth.

Eve found her mum's overused recipe book
with cryptic notes. Deciphered her pleasure.
She baked a ratatouille and tasted the heat
of knowing myth comes from a male flower.



Courgette fact : Pick a male flower, remove petals, brush the anther over the stigma. One male can pollinate several females.
Last edited by Macavity on Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:18 am, edited 29 times in total.

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JJWilliamson
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Re: An Abundance of Courgette

Post by JJWilliamson » Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:03 am

I like the title, mac, in this very interesting little number.

The first two lines lost me. Is Eve significant, in a biblical sense?
Macavity wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 8:13 pm
Eve whispered for a frost to stress her lover, ...Some plants need a frost for the best results but courgettes are from the med via the Americas, are they not? I might be overthinking things but I wondered if it was a metaphor.
but he nurtured, gave up time like her Dad:
one seed per pot, a comfort bed of compost;
he bought a cloche, waited for May's warmth. ...There are sensual/sexual overtones in this strophe, but are they intentional?

Eve found her mum's overused recipe book
with cryptic notes. Deciphered her pleasure. ...Love these two lines.
She baked a ratatouille and tasted the heat
of knowing myth comes from a male flower. ...Again I feel like I'm looking at an extended sexual/love metaphor. Might just be me. :oops:



Courgette fact : Pick a male flower, remove petals, brush the anther over the stigma. One male can pollinate several females. ...I bet they can! :)

Enjoyed

Best

JJ
Long time a child and still a child

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Re: An Abundance of Courgette

Post by Firebird » Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:52 am

Hi Mac,

I enjoyed this - lots of strong imagery. Some specific comments below.
Macavity wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 8:13 pm
Eve whispered for a frost to stress her lover,
but he nurtured, gave up time like her Dad: (Is that God?)
one seed per pot, a comfort bed of compost;
he bought a cloche, waited for May's warmth. (Lovely sonics in these two lines)

Eve found her mum's overused recipe book
with cryptic notes. Deciphered her pleasure.
She baked a ratatouille and tasted the heat (I like this idea)
of knowing myth comes from a male flower. (I like the sexual connotations/implications of the stanza and think they work well)

Courgette fact : Pick a male flower, remove petals, brush the anther over the stigma. One male can pollinate several females.
I’m not sure what the overall arch of this poem is. It’s clearly hinted at, but I’m not quite getting it yet. I’ll think on and it will probably become clear later. Maybe Eve is a distraction and I none biblical name might be better, as I think I understand the sexual arch.

Cheers,

Tristan

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Re: An Abundance of Courgette

Post by twoleftfeet » Tue Aug 06, 2019 1:37 pm

Hello,Mac

A delightful blending of ideas/associations and deliberate obfuscation of identities.
This is greatly aided by the omission of punctuation in the final two lines.

I don't understand the punctuation of L2 unless it is somehow an extra layer of obfuscation?

If not,my initial reading tried to make "nurture" into an intransitive verb,whereas something like
"but he nurtured - gave up time like her Dad -"
- would not do so.
Also the gardener "gave up" time unquestionably,I'm not sure God or Adam did?
Would "made time" work for the gardener,God,and Adam (in the sense that his actions provoked God)?
Perhaps I'm missing something,or fishing?

In L4 - I'm hitting a bump with "overused" -
would "prolific" carry the same meanings/associations?

Regards
Geoff
Instead of just sitting on the fence - why not stand in the middle of the road?

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Re: An Abundance of Courgette (revision)

Post by Macavity » Tue Aug 06, 2019 9:05 pm

Thanks JJ, Tristan and Geoff.
and deliberate obfuscation of identities.
Cheers Geoff. The naming of 'Eve' was a 'false' trail, the baggage that name carries, which I have, hopefully, made more clear in the revision...and, of course, the baggage given to gender roles.
In L4 - I'm hitting a bump with "overused" -
I quite like the 'bump' there Geoff, gives the word more punch.
one seed per pot, a comfort bed of compost;
he bought a cloche, waited for May's warmth. (Lovely sonics in these two lines)
Thanks Tristan. Always pleased when there is a tick in the sonics box :)
Eve whispered for a frost to stress her lover, ...Some plants need a frost for the best results but courgettes are from the med via the Americas
And yes JJ...they are prone to frost damage.

all the best

mac

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Re: An Abundance of Courgette (revision)

Post by NotQuiteSure » Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:56 am

.
Hi mac,
like the revision, (much more comprehensible!)

S1 - should there be a comma after time?
Maybe 'forwent' for 'gave up' ?
(L3/4) very pleasing couplet.

S2 - 'the' for 'with'?
(Wondering whether she doesn't 'burn her tongue'
rather than 'taste the heat'?)

S3 - isn't 'to cubes' redundant after 'dicing'?
'label' seems a bit weak and weakens the
idea that this 'Eve' is offering a different fruit
to her 'Adam'.
Not that keen on the short sentences of L4
(and shouldn't there be be something a bit
more sensual than 'dicing to cubes' here?)
but snagged the name 'Eve'. It stuck.


Did wonder if it might be worth re-ordering the
last six lines -

Eve whispered for a frost to stress her lover,
but he nurtured, gave up time like her Dad:
one seed per pot, a comfort bed of compost;
he bought a cloche, waited for May's warmth.

She found her mum's overused recipe book
with cryptic notes. Deciphered her pleasure.
Peeling the skin, dicing to cubes, reveals
the seeds. These label a courgette a fruit.

She went scrumping in Kent, was never caught,
got the name 'Eve'. It stuck. So her story goes.
Eve baked a ratatouille and tasted the heat
of knowing myth comes from a male flower.


Regards, Not




.
Last edited by NotQuiteSure on Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: An Abundance of Courgette (revision)

Post by twoleftfeet » Wed Aug 07, 2019 12:29 pm

Hi again,Mac

I like the first two lines of the revision - returning to the plants is a nice touch.

I also like the idea of introducing Kent - presumably because it's "the Garden of England"? - into the equation,
but the last line stutters a bit (imho).

Would this work?-

She went scrumping in Kent,England's "Garden",
whence her name? The facts are in dispute.

Regards
Geoff
Instead of just sitting on the fence - why not stand in the middle of the road?

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Re: An Abundance of Courgette (revision2)

Post by Macavity » Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:28 pm

Thanks Not and Geoff. I've done some reordering of lines and edits in light of your comments. As always many thanks.

all the best

mac

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Re: An Abundance of Courgette (revision)

Post by bjondon » Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:48 pm

Hi mac,
I've been enjoying cycling around this conundrum - the sonics scrumptious!
I read it as a rather cheeky interrogation of maleness and femaleness.
Adding the extra stanza was definitely a relief - the pressure of searching for sententious symbolism lifted - Eve can just conceivably be an ordinary girl scrumping for apples now though ofcourse the symbols remain . . . 'ratatouille' - that's an interesting one, with a sharp head and a sensuous tail.
The nurturing Dad and lover seem like the new men we are supposed to aspire to be - he's caring, gentle, he even buys a cloche (contraception?) - A frost on that! - she wants heat! Her recipe: peel the skin (the foreskin?) Dice it into cubes (painful!) Is she deconstructing patriarchy? I think so, but it does sound pretty vicious.
The flower of the courgette erupts directly from its rather phallic body - she has sussed this male flower of ideology, stripped it down, sliced and diced to reveal it is really a fruit - So the phallic courgette becomes a swelling 'apple', a symbol of the female.
Married love - 'a comfort bed of compost' - gets short shrift here.
'scrumping in Kent' - well this could be a last minute booking to Lesbos or just a general assertion of female power, plus maybe a suggestion that love must be stolen or atleast rediscovered by each generation.

Could an 'overused recipe book' be a poetic strategy, the cryptic notes in the margin, the poems?… just one of the many pleasures in this veritable Kenneth/Carlos collision.

I like the idea of revising a poem by simply adding another stanza. 'So her story goes' could have the emphasis on 'her' … in which case there might be room for another stanza telling his story … or is that the (historically authoritative) footnote :)

Jules
cross posted! … so Lesbos fell through and the fruity courgette is maybe about a more feminine aspect of male sexuality. Not sure if 'phallic' gives too much away. Liked the way this nestled innocently in the fruit and veg section.

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Re: An Abundance of Courgette (revision2)

Post by Macavity » Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:16 am

interrogation of maleness and femaleness
:lol: Jules you are inside my head in much of your interpretation!
Not sure if 'phallic' gives too much away. Liked the way this nestled innocently in the fruit and veg section.
Yes, I've struggled with that in earlier drafts, but I quite liked the bold assertion of the 'unashamed fruit' .

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Re: An Abundance of Courgette (revision2)

Post by JJWilliamson » Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:09 am

Yes, the revisions are better, by a mile. I was able to follow the story all the way through,
although I must admit I hadn't quite conceived of such shenanigans. Jules' reply was an education. :)

Peeled and diced indeed. :shock:

JJ
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Re: An Abundance of Courgette (revision2)

Post by Macavity » Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:04 am

Thanks for revisiting JJ. Pleased the revised version improved the poem. A courgette plant has a male flower and a female flower, with the latter having the fruit. One plant can yield enough fruit for the summer for two people! Like having a 'garden full of erections' it was noted...except they're fruit! :)

cheers

mac

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Re: An Abundance of Courgette (revision2)

Post by bjondon » Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:17 pm

'unashamed fruit' is a nice phrase
Maybe substitute 'rude' for 'phallic'?
J

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Re: An Abundance of Courgette (revision2)

Post by NotQuiteSure » Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:39 pm

.

Hi mac.


S2 - L1, would it still work as
Eve found her mum's recipe book, overused ?
L3, could this trim to
Peeling skin, dicing flesh, revealing seeds.

I like 'unashamed fruit' (or even unabashed - though the dictionary tells me 'courgette' is
an 'immature fruit'). 'not phallic, on the other hand doesn't work for me. Wondered if
there was a deflowering going on (which your courgette fact suggests).

S3 - L1, 'savoured' for 'tasted'?
I don't think the last two line work well in this version. 'Her name?' Who's asking
the question, and why would they even think they needed to?

(More for Jules than you, mac, but ... scrumping comes from 'withered apples, so is that
a biological clock ticking?)

Regards, Not

.

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Re: An Abundance of Courgette (revision2)

Post by Macavity » Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:51 pm

Thanks Jules and Not. The 'phallic' has been axed! I've reverted to the original closing lines for now.

all the best

mac

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Re: An Abundance of Courgette (revision2)

Post by bjondon » Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:52 pm

Actually was starting to come round to 'phallic' - it shouldn't be a
perjorative word but somehow always is ; using it there
did seem to grasp the nettle, plus a nice chime with 'cryptic'.
'treasure' though is healing, gives a way back for her lover.
If I'm being picky the last line is still not as good as the rest.
You could lose the third Eve and part restore to:
She went scrumping in Kent with the lads,
was never caught, got the tag. It stuck.

J

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Re: An Abundance of Courgette (revision2)

Post by Macavity » Fri Aug 09, 2019 3:48 am

Okay Jules I've made a concluding tweak: her name is given by males, though the implication is that this may be another 'myth' (I wasn't sure whether to make it a self-created one). I've gone for symmetry in using 'Eve' in each stanza.

cheers

mac

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Re: An Abundance of Courgette (revision2)

Post by David » Fri Aug 09, 2019 6:33 pm

I'm still reeling at this one, Mac. I don't know whether Ken Russell ever directed an episode of Gardeners' World, but if he did ... the result might be very like this, I think.

Cheers

David

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Re: An Abundance of Courgette (revision2)

Post by Macavity » Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:04 am

:)


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Re: An Abundance of Courgette (revision3)

Post by David » Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:32 pm

Brilliant, Mac. I don't remember seeing that before. Or, subliminally, do I?

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Re: An Abundance of Courgette (revision3)

Post by NotQuiteSure » Sun Aug 11, 2019 11:19 am

.
Hi mac,
like the additional verse, particularly 'russet scents', but now, with 'orphaned child ... lads'
it feels overbalanced. And 'skin', 'whisper' twice? (Maybe limbs for the second 'skin' and
wish for 'whisper'?) The lack of 'Eve' in S4 is noticeable.
(and let no falling apple bruise her dreams ?)

Just a thought.

Eve whispered for a frost to stress her lover,
but he nurtured, gave up time like her Dad:
one seed per pot, a comfort bed of compost;
he bought a cloche, waited for May's warmth.

Eve found her mum's overused recipe book
with cryptic notes. Deciphered her pleasure.
Peeling the skin, dicing the flesh, revealing
the seeds. His treasure's an unashamed fruit!

That's one story. Where russet scents still linger
along her skin, between the sheets, a whisper
to climb,without a ladder, orchard trees
and let no apple fall to bruise her dreams.

Eve baked a ratatouille and tasted the heat
of knowing myth comes from a male flower.


Regards, Not


.

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Re: An Abundance of Courgette (revision4)

Post by Macavity » Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:06 am

Thanks Not. Who can resist fourteen lines? Well not me :)

all the best

mac

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Re: An Abundance of Courgette (revision4)

Post by Firebird » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:17 am

Hi Mac,

Revision 4 is the best for me. I read your first version, which wasn’t clear, but now the narrative gaps have been tightened it works much better for me.
Macavity wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 8:13 pm
revision4
to climb without a ladder the orchard trees
and let no apple fall. What is it to be free?
That’s a lovely image. My only tiny nit here is that the power of the courgette image may have been slightly diminished by the apples now. I say this even though I really like the apple images. It think I do prefer the courgette image though, as it isn’t an extension of an already familiar story/image, but a fully original one.

Sorry if this doesn’t help. Just some thought, really.

Cheers,

Tristan

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Re: An Abundance of Courgette (revision4)

Post by NotQuiteSure » Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:10 pm

.
Hi mac,
I preferred (less formal) tone of the earlier versions.
Can't see the courgettes for the apples (almost).
The opening reads like it's the frost that is her lover, at least to me.


Regards, Not

.

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Re: An Abundance of Courgette (revision4)

Post by Macavity » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:42 pm

Thanks for taking another look Tristan and Not. One thumbs up and one thumbs down. A split decision by the jury :)

best

mac

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