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The Orchid in Her

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Apr. 15th, 2009 | 03:51 pm

To expand and apply from yesterday's examination of how Yeats did that complex structure of rhythm, rhyme, semantics and argument, I have a response to the Day 15 challenge to the exercise to change the title of a poem and respond to it with a poem. One can stick as closely as one likes. [I edited since what I posted there and since I posted it here yesterday; still bumps in it.]

The Orchid in the Tree of Her

"All things uncomely and broken,
all things worn-out and old" - W.B. Yeats

His excuses are collected sod
from mouldy leaf and the sand
that would sting an unblinking eye.
It all lodged in the crotch in wait.

The seedling's soil -- in the fork
when a sapling -- just fanned
off the breeze's small back. What's lost
were just motes. To earth, new estate.

The grains, if retained or dropped
from her furrowed bark, she understands;
there's no mutual harm. She's not food
but a table. The nursery sates

self. The water, the leaves and the buds,
of her trunk have created their blossom's chant
off the breeze's small back and what's lost
were mots juste to earth. New estate.



I tried to keep to the transition of high ratio of anapest mixed into iambs until its all anapest, and to keep the rhyme and repetition structure intact. I want the structure to not draw attention to itself naturally and come off as unforced as his. (Aim high, crash into the ground. ;)) His is naturally flowing, and a natural sounding poem.

I set out to retort the brunt of the bitter turn of The Rose in the Deeps of His Heart and answer with the same concept of a flower within. I aimed to reframe and spin so that she is not a rose that loses her color quickly, taking a note from Carl Smith's

I overlooked an orchid/while searching for rose/...The orchid is a flower that blooms so tenderly/If placed beside a blushin' rose/ the rose could not compare


The object of affection is not a plant with the only relevant part being embodied by a flower, in fact, but a tree that lives in symbiosis with a lasting orchid (cue Georgia O'Keefe) and spurns the spurn and dirt throw at her and the too early declaration of grave.

I'm still fiddling with it, but it may have some potential.

Rather a metaphorical wall is that the orchid is such a general word for the largest flowering family with over 20,000 species, some terrestrial, some aquatic, half of them epiphytes/on air, and include everything from bladderworts to those feather boas in freshwater lakes to venus fly traps.

The epiphyte orchids which flower from the bark of trees live incidentally with the tree, not sending roots in parasitically, or in mutual symbiosis, just prop themselves inert in mutual non-harm, a form of commensalism.

What would that mean for the figurative? The orchid is not nurtured in soil caught by the tree, thrown by forces and drifts of nature. The dirt accumulates but is not critical.

Would the biology of commensalism be denouncing the relationship of her own sexuality (as orchid) if woman is tree. The tree is untroubled and there's no interaction except being in the same sun. That biology troubles the flow of the poem.

At least I think I understand the 3-beat meter better now.

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