repetition and variation

I’ve been reading about ecopoetics, a term I rather think should refer to poems that use a lot of repetition, whether of sounds or phrases.

Perhaps in Spanish this might be the case, since there’s no orthographic distinction between the prefix eco (from the Greek οἰκο- oiko) as in ecological, and eco (from the Latin echo, in turn from the Greek ἠχώ ēchṓ) as in echolalia; but in English, I suppose I must accept that the term is used to refer to poetry with an ecological emphasis.

(For more on ecopoetics, see the Resurgence Prize page on the subject. For more on the Spanish, including the etymological information I just cited, refer to the RAE.)

Having got that out of the way, I can turn to the fact that October is apparently National Apple Month.

I’m sure I’ve noted before that the problem with “national” months is that the global village of the world wide web includes many nations: this national month is not my national month. Appropriately, perhaps, the photo is not an apple; instead it is a pomegranate – the seeded apple of Granada.

The poem, though, is an apple poem. Whether it counts as an ecopoem, I’m not sure.

winter approaches

Clouds lift to leave a hint of snow along the ridge and sky
gusted to blue. Clear-edged sunshine draws me from my desk.
In the lane, a neighbour eases his donkey from amble
to pause. He greets me, asks for windfalls pa’ el guarro.
In my orchard fallen apples stink like cider; I tell him
to gather all he finds, pondering that I’d far prefer
to let the patient burro mumble fruit from my palm
than help to fatten the squealing pig for Martinmas.


If anyone is interested in seeing an earlier version of the poem, I posted a ‘first draft’ in the post winter approaches almost five years ago.

Finally, returning to the theme of repetition, but with the poetic technique of adding variation, here’s another photo of the same pomegranates with a slightly different focus:


Author: don't confuse the narrator

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

2 thoughts on “repetition and variation”

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