Monday, 15 June 2009

Offering (2)

Just not up to making work yet but editing poems and preparing to read some out in a small group. This will be my first time, terror of terrors, but feels right. Need to air my poems. The waiting game was an exercise for my poetry-course a while ago (first attempt at writing a sonnet, which I enjoyed very much); this one here is the revised version of my Tante Frieda-poem which some of you may remember. I've rewritten it heavily but feel rather adrift as my course is over, alas, and it's again rather wordy, even if 'crafted' with more attention to its sound and music. I wished TF was still around, I'd like to ask her lots of questions. A piece of crocheting will grow from this, I think, first stitches maid (made!). Feedback welcome.

Tante Frieda

The last room on the right, opposite chapel, is hers,
her last room, where she waits in state,
hatted and girdled, hair teeming with pins.
Her crumpled face crackles with mischief.
She is older than the century, erstwhile Rapunzel
who had not known to grow her hair.
Hand-me-down air clings from mother-dear -
a prayer under every breath
and her daughters' dresses stiff as blotting paper.

Frieda, five feet tall, taught and enthralled
boys in their teens. Happy times
and best of times for being out of step:
she was removed from school when she refused
to toe the F├╝hrer’s line. Much of her life though
she stowed away, homing in mothed skin,
counting beads and her heart on a string.
She sailed dreams trailing shaggy wings,
and when finally laid up, without guard or girdle,
kept her handbag in bed with her, open,
spilling regret like teeth from an old mouth.

To me she was the kindly crone from my fairytales,
born old, hands packed with plenty, ready
to grant wishes to those who dared want.
Postern to yesteryear she sank in her downy bed,
eyes logged with sorrow
that she’d never been kissed.


Anonymous said...

Surprised to see a second poem (Offering 2). I was wondering if you read aloud or might consider that at some point to a group/audience. Both poems are exquisite.

Marjojo said...

Thanks, Lesley. And yes, I do read aloud when I write, once I've got the poem in reasonable form on paper I speak it and listen out for alliterations and assonance etc. And I am going to read a few to a small audience next week, beginners' event I was told. Pretty terrifying, but as with art the work doesn't come full circle until it's out in the world. Feel much more vulnerable with my poems though, and my voice in real terms. Worth a try.

redredday said...

ahhh yes. do you know i've been looking up who the heck is Tante Frieda? i thought she was some writer or character from somewhere. i didn't know it is Aunt Frieda! somehow i have missed the posting of the first version. i'm reading both again, and i am loving how you have rewritten it. there is much more depth and richness here. and i like how the sentences are broken up, with a period in the middle of a line; containing the end of a previous thought with the beginning of the next thought. the flow of it makes me think of counting rosary beads for some reason. i guess partly because it is mentioned in the poem.
anyways, i especially love the fourth stanza, where we get a glimpse of something hidden and more revealing about Tante Frieda. makes me want to ask Tante Frieda some questions too.

i'm excited for your reading next week! i hope you'll have it recorded and perhaps share it here with us too...