Leek Soup

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Sharra
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Leek Soup

Post by Sharra » Mon Nov 29, 2010 1:02 pm

You cradle baby leeks, slide them proudly
from muddied arms to tabletop,
watch them until they stop rocking.
I slit skin, gush cold water
over and over them, slice and sauté
palm-sized potatoes and carrots –
see hard edges soften and curl
in the running yellow butter.
Now I’m in the same kitchen, wrapping
my hands around the dregs of the year –
this last reminder of you scalds my tongue.
Across the hillocks of the rainsoaked
garden, I imagine I can still see
your footprints returning.
It is at the edge of the
petal that love waits

Mic
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Re: Leek Soup

Post by Mic » Mon Nov 29, 2010 5:11 pm

This isn't connecting with me Sharra, I'm afraid. While the first eight lines set a nice domestic scene, it seemed (for me), while written well enough, the lines lack poetry. They read a bit like instructions/commentary from a celebrity cook t.v. show.

You up the ante with more figurative language at the l.9 'turn' - but somehow this part of the sonnet (is it?) feels 'overly poetic', trying too hard. And I'm not convinced by the verb 'to wrap' in its coupling with 'dregs'. Similarly, the tongue-scolding just feels too over-wrought and too self-conscious a use of cookery vocab.

Is 'hillocks' the right word? It makes me think of small hills, and it would seem strange to have a garden with small hills in it.

The final line makes me wonder where the rest of him/her is.

Sorry my response to this is so negative. I have been blown away by some of your other work.

Mic
"Do not feel lonely, the entire universe is inside you" - Rumi

Nicky B
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Re: Leek Soup

Post by Nicky B » Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:13 pm

A bit too cook book for me too - sorry. The skin and cradling sounded good,in fact I liked the first four lines, but perhaps some of the later lines on this could be lost?

Have you read "An April Sunday brings the snow" by Philip Larkin?

If I understand correctly he's talking of a similar thing.

Nicky B.

brianedwards
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Re: Leek Soup

Post by brianedwards » Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:48 am

I'm having difficulty reconciling the verbs here Nicky, feel like I am being pulled around too much within the poem's emotional landscape.
The delicate sensitivity of cradle/slide and watch gives way to the violence of slit/gush and slice. This leads me to then read "hard edges soften and curl" as a possible metaphor, the person doing the slitting and slicing somehow softening in the presence (or memory) of the gentler other. "wrapping my arms around" seems consistent with this new, softened speaker, but then "dregs" and "scald" disrupt that sense.
None of this may be a problem with the poem of course, and could be my lens is foggy.

B.

Sharra
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Re: Leek Soup

Post by Sharra » Fri Dec 03, 2010 8:24 am

Thanks for your thoughts guys - this was a sonnet for Uni so wasn't very inspired - one to bin I think :)
It is at the edge of the
petal that love waits

delph_ambi
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Re: Leek Soup

Post by delph_ambi » Sun Dec 05, 2010 7:20 pm

Some suggestions for tightening.

You cradle baby leeks, slide them proudly [I would use 'proud' rather than 'proudly' to help the meter]
from muddied arms to tabletop,
watch them until they stop rocking. ['watch them till their rocking stops' again would help the rhythm]
I slit skin, gush cold water [try hyphenating 'slit-skin'. More poetic. Less cookery bookish]
over and over them, slice and sauté [I'd cut one of the 'over's]
palm-sized potatoes and carrots – ['palm-sized' made me think palm trees initially. not sure about an alternative]
see hard edges soften and curl [replace 'and' with a comma]
in the running yellow butter. [delete 'the']
Now I’m in the same kitchen, wrapping [replace the wordy 'Now I'm in the same kitchen' with 'Now I'm back here']
my hands around the dregs of the year –
this last reminder of you scalds my tongue.
Across the hillocks of the rainsoaked [hyphenate 'rain-soaked']
garden, I imagine I can still see [delete 'can']
your footprints returning.

Sharra
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Re: Leek Soup

Post by Sharra » Sun Dec 05, 2010 8:10 pm

RL - thanks for the postive comments - it's appreciated.
Delph - those are all really good suggestions, thank you so much for taking the time to give it such a close reading. Again, its appreciated.
Nicky
x
It is at the edge of the
petal that love waits

Basnik
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Re: Leek Soup

Post by Basnik » Sun Dec 05, 2010 8:13 pm

I enjoyed a lot of this. The first part was very sensual and gave a really interesting dynamic. I felt the jump after the Volta was so abrupt that it needed a line break. I also felt it wasn't quite so strong as the first section. The 'dregs of the year' felt Hardyesque and a little bit timeworn. How about 'scrappings'? I felt the end with the footsteps etc. wasn't vivid enough after what had started so strong in such a concrete way. Could more unity be made with the idea of taste and memory?

Don't bin though, has a really strong start - to my taste anyway!

Rich. Basnik
bez prace, nejsou kolaci - without work, there are no cakes (Czech proverb)

dedalus
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Re: Leek Soup

Post by dedalus » Thu Dec 09, 2010 7:43 pm

This lovely poem makes me feel guilty (why? what? I don't even know the guy) and hungry in equal measure. Perhaps more hungry than conscience-struck. The art of cooking has a direct and instant appeal: would you consider braised garlic and a touch of fennel?

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Re: Leek Soup

Post by Arian » Thu Dec 09, 2010 8:29 pm

I'm afraid I'm going to side with the thumbs-down comments on this, Nicky.
You strike, and maintain, an easy rhythm (a skill in itself!), but - somehow - the language, or imagery, of the piece never seems to transcend the mundane, until the end.

By the high standard you've set yourself with your other stuff, this one is, in my view, on the weak side.

I enjoyed reading and thinking about it, though.
Cheers
peter

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