Monday, February 20, 2006

Is this rose cliche?

The trouble with love poems is that everyone's done them already. I mean, how much more cliche can a poem about love be when it includes a rose as its central motif?

So I know it's cliche, but still I want to write a love poem with a rose in it. It's like a test for poets, innit.

Love Poem #6

You bought a rose to mark our anniversary:
stout, black thorns erupting through the stalk
in whorls of defiance; two sawtoothed leaves
nestling a tight bud - sheets of peach and cream
rolled within their shrinking, green folder.
The rose was fresh - greenfly still syphoned
sap from the flower's veins - but we both knew
as you handed me the gift that soon the petals
would bronze and rot, the scent in its well
would run dry. I will not give you a rose
in return, but rather the bush - a root
of love extending deep into our manure.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Rik,

    It is impossible to write a rose poem, since it is cliche' as an object as well as a subject of poetry. One way around that is to include the reluctance and suspicion in the writing, some sort of:

    Of all things, a rose for out anniversary! Complete with your sheepish smile, this bent stalk of corniness, our joke, the thing we have agreed to share despite history, despite TV. And yet, the red is retina real, the thorns pluck thorny. The petals bend to touch with a demur silkiness that makes me flush and think of later.


    Of course I mean all of that with your velvet touch and none of my wooden clunk clunk.