Thursday, September 8, 2011

From the archive

Veteran's Day --
the pansies crystalline
with frozen rain

I'm struggling with this one. It's based on an image jotted down in a notebook in 2001, but which was never turned into a finished poem. In the version above I really dislike the word "crystalline", but my other attempts have been unsatisfactory as well. The juxtaposition of "Veteran's Day" and "pansies" has to be handled delicately so that there can be no implication of disrespect -- but at the same time, pansies are the essential cold-weather flower for the season, so I don't want to just change flora.

The other solution I'm happiest with so far is a little duller as an image, but the words work together better:

Veteran's Day --
pansies crisp
with frost

Maybe it's just not meant to be, but I'll keep tinkering with it. Sometimes a fresh day's perspective and a single altered word or even syllable can make it all click together.

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