work in progress

Although I understand that the UK weather was dreadful over the holidays, I’m not sure that it was really cold; certainly there are already signs of spring about. Of course we’re bound to get some real winter weather later, so I hope Nature has the good sense to be patient.

spray of buds


Tight as apple pips,

buds spiral around
a moss-supple stalk

anticipating spring
when they will split 

and shake free

tissue wings.

That’s a draft, and questions remain:

  • Without the photo, would the reader know if this was botanical or entomological? And does the photo therefore limit the potential?
  • Would the last line be better as “tissue petal wings”? (too many words, perhaps?) “petal wings”? “tissue blooms”? (“blossoms” might be better than “blooms”, but I prefer the single stressed syllable as a landing point.)
  • Does “moss-supple” work? I started with “moss-green”, which is uninspired; I want to show that it’s new growth, green and flexible.
  • Does the phrase “tight as apple pips” mean anything to anyone other than me? Perhaps the photo explains why I thought of apple pips, though that may not necessarily be a Good Thing, as, again, it’s leaving less to the reader’s imagination.
  • “shake free” / “shake out” / “shake loose” are all near synonyms. Is one better than the others? Since the buds won’t actually shake anything, is this a bad choice anyway? Can I excuse it because the stalk is supple and will be shaken by the spring breeze? Is it perhaps an unconscious allusion to line 3 of Sonnet XVIII – “Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May” – in which case, is it totally out of place in a winter poem?
  • Should I have waited until I had resolved some of these questions before I posted?

    Author: don't confuse the narrator

    Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

    One thought on “work in progress”

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