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Featured Guest Poet Paula Grenside

When I was A Poem

he told me naked breasts were doors to gardens,
and amber nipples, bells to ring or buds to pick
for muse discreet, disguised in pallid skin.

He told me how he could then write his love
and living lines on bare thighs' layers
of tangled wild where lyrics jumped like deer.

He would then versify on ripeness
of roly-poly ass, gold-glowed sliced melon.

Alas, he turned to painting. On worn out
canvas, I rest in faded still-life form.

May, 2000

Paula Grenside 's Questions:

Painting in poetry and the "revenge" of painting.

Does it work?

Is it visual as I intended it to be?

Is the ironical attitude of the speaker conveyed?

A magnificent blending. A mix of painting and poetry. The sensual images work very well - as a selection of colors being mixed for the canvas. The ending is perfect in this version. It is a shame I have lost contact with the person it reminds me of. I would have sent it to her. It is that good. The first line should have a capital to start the poem, shouldn't it, since all the other lines have one?
Kenn Mitchell
USA - Sun May 21 12:15:28 2000

Paula Does it work? The painter metaphor works well, has a natural creative connection. Is it visual as I intended it to be? Extremely visual, explicit in its imagery. Is the ironical attitude of the speaker conveyed? The words in the last lines, "worn-out" and "faded " are perfect to convey the irony. Well done. Jerry
Jerry Dreesen
USA - Mon May 22 11:08:45 2000
Oh Paula, This is the poem where I was outvoted on the use of 'ass'! And had to agree it was sensual not crass. Well, it is. It is amazing that poetry paints better than paint: 'faded still life form'. Now to your questions: Of course it works! Lyrics jumping like deer is visual enough for me. And the irony in the last stanza is tangible. Way to go - except you picked the wrong guy: stick to dedicated poets :) Shisa
USA - Wed May 24 11:54:08 2000
Hi Paula! You've painted such a motion picture in this poem. Your first two lines are a perfect beginning, love your second line and so as a reader, I'm all yours. The irony comes through marvelously in that your speaker is so very poetic, so the writer must be the marvelous poet you are, if not then this doesn't work, and it does so very well. Such a poem! - Rus
Rus Bowden
USA - Thu May 25 16:56:36 2000
Paula -- The imagery in this is beautiful and sensuous, with a nice touch of irony. The first line is a knockout, leads the reader right into the poem. Surprises and original language kept me moving along, except in a few spots where the syntax became so dense I couldn't make my way. I don't understand this phrase, for example: "on bare thighs' layers of tangled wild where lyrics jumped." There seems to be a noun missing after the tangled wild modifiers to which the preposition "of" refers. Am I missing something? The ending is a nice twist, implying that poetry is a more mobile art than painting, an interesting idea. I almost thought you could extend it further, either by expanding on how the poem as a poem had more of her own life than when confined in a still life painting. Thanks for a great read and an interesting idea. Rachel
USA - Thu May 25 18:10:42 2000
Paula, this is a magical, beautiful poem. The language is rich and flowing and the imagery is stunning. Your use of literary devices is perfect; you succeed in providing the reader with lovely, vivd images and deliver an ironical twist at the end, which delicately wraps the poem-- however full-bodied and robust. I am most impressed. What a poet you are. Thank you for this wonderful read.
USA - Tue May 30 13:52:37 2000

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