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Fruta de le Vid
(Fruit of the Vine)

As if they are part of the scenery
a sight for the tourists to enjoy,
woven into the manicured greenery
but under the vineyard's employ.
Waiting at roadside everyday
for a chance to harvest the fruit,
enduring the heat and the low pay
which he's unable to dispute.
Our secret citizen takes this job,
all the while maligned,
hard to imagine this better
than the life he left behind.
Calloused hands so dignified
and inked with a purple hue
the only willing hands for work
that we don't want to do.
Sweet irony that rich and poor
are dependent upon each other
for survival during a season unsure,
literally, blood brothers.
Each time before I sip my wine
I say a humble "cheers"
To thank him for his care of the vine
for his blood, his sweat, his fears.

Amy Corless


The following comments are for "Fruta de le Vid"
by arc

Bart wouldn't tell me who my opponent was when I asked him in an e-mail Saturday. I guess that's part of the fun. But he did tell me to bring my "A" game because you would be more than equal to the task. And he was right. So, how does this work now? Do I vote and give you a "1" rating? Joking......

( Posted by: Odysseus [Member] On: August 30, 2004 )

What a poem.
This is astounding. I don't think I can remember seeing a better Write Off poem. I'm really impressed.

It's a rhyming poem, but the rhymes are subtle - there's not a single one that looks like it's been put there in order for the rhyme to work; every word feels completely natural.

And the picture you paint is incredibly vivid. I can almost see the vinyard worker mopping his brow in the field... Wonderful.

Your opponent was good, but yours was not just better, but best - I don't often give a 10 score in a write-off, but I'm giving it here; this poem deserves it. Well done.

( Posted by: Spudley [Member] On: August 30, 2004 )

Sorry - I just had to add this - just as I was posting your score, my MP3 player decided to play 'Heard It Through The Grapevine'.
(Heh. Well, I thought it was funny, anyway :0))

( Posted by: Spudley [Member] On: August 30, 2004 )

One was well written and smoothly rhymed...

I feel you were trying to bring out the plight of the migrant worker... Pity, that... not the people, but that you didn't consider those places that do not use migrant workers, but, instead the family, neighbors and hired hands... The world outside of California... The rest of the world... I will envision all of those, laboring in the vineyards...

Your poem on the subject was by far, the better of the two... Well written and insightful to those that labor in the rendering of the wine we enjoy...

( Posted by: daprdan [Member] On: August 30, 2004 )

Fruta de le Vid
First of all, I liked the title. The drama of giving it a Spanish(?) title with an English subtitle has a plus-factor for me. I always thought this girl is going to be a very good writer when I read your first works here in Lit. I like the way you used 'fears' among 'blood' and 'sweat' instead of 'tears'. My reason's for choosing you may sound so shallow, but it is because the other commenters already pointed out which things made this one outstanding.

( Posted by: PETERPAULINO [Member] On: August 31, 2004 )

As much as I like going against the majority, I can't this time; this is definately the better of the two entries and perhaps the best piece you've written, arc.


( Posted by: eleutheromaniac [Member] On: August 31, 2004 )

Vintage Stuff Arc!
You really dug down deep inside yourself for this one Arc and came up with vintage stuff! My nephew owns a winery in the Finger Lakes region of NY state, and employs both immigrants and locals. I could really visualize them toiling in the fields, harvesting what they themselves cannot afford to buy...lovely!

A Votre Sante!


( Posted by: Beatrice Boyle [Member] On: August 31, 2004 )

Pickin on ARC
If you would...(peggy hill spelling)...Dommy M. Beso.
Once have made me feel guilty.

Next time I see people working harder than the ol; Harper...
I will think of you. By the way Galvatron is hot.
....sorry, I was waving smoke out of my face....

I heart ARC!!!.....If you had a storm celler, you could call it Arcy Bunker!!!!

( Posted by: harpersfairy [Member] On: August 31, 2004 )

*comes in puffing* Sorry I'm late, Galvatron was a bit hands on at the Ball, don't know who is do you!?! Needs to lay off the Baby Oil, hehe!

Arc this is such a great poem, I must be an idiot because the whole Write-off thing could not have clicked in my brain.

This flowed so effortlessly as you described the neo-classical scene.

Great Piece!

Alex xxx

( Posted by: londongrey [Member] On: September 3, 2004 )

Fruta de la Vid
Amy, this blew my away. It really did flow effortlessly. The imagery was perfect, captured the true feel of the situation. You milked out (perhaps I should say, 'juiced out') almost every ounce, every drop of emotion in this piece. The language was perfect, fitting the scene nicely. You didn't need to resort to $50 words to describe minimum wage (at the most) workers. It felt as though you were right there with them, only also with pen and paper. In fact, the only thing I might have changed in this piece would be, in line 14, might delete the word 'a,' just for a little more emphasis into the colourful picture of stained hands. 9.999999999999999999--oh, rounds up to 10.


( Posted by: the Co.konspirator [Member] On: September 3, 2004 )

And the winner is...
Even though there are still a few days left in the typical Write Off period, events have forced me to declare a winner prematurely...

Arc's wonderful poem was in the lead throughout the competition, and it saddens me that her competitor saw fit to remove his piece from the contest thus removing himself from any hope of recovery.

I will be making an announcement concerning the Write Off soon, keep your eyes peeled for it.. And once again congratulations to Arc for winning the contest and writing such a truly exquisite piece.. My only regret is that I never got the chance to give it my own rating of 10.


( Posted by: Bartleby [Member] On: September 3, 2004 )

Bart and Everyone
Thank you for all the nice things you've said about this poem. I really worked hard on it. However, a forfeit IS technically a win, but it sure doesn't feel like a win. Too bad Mark didn't stick it out. Love to all...Amy

( Posted by: arc [Member] On: September 3, 2004 )

Another round?

I understand your feelings of victory being tainted by Mark's actions, and so I am willing to offer you another go round with someone who I can guarantee will not act in a similar fashion, if you would be willing to put yourself out there again.

It's entirely up to you... but I feel it is only right and proper to make the offer.

a poet who didn't know it

( Posted by: Bartleby [Member] On: September 3, 2004 )

I hope to see you in another round of the Write Off...I'm so sorry that this one didn't pan out, fully. Your piece was really quite impressive, whether looked at as a piece from a "newbie" or simply from a writer's critique. Best of luck in the future, and I hope, if you decide to give it another go, that something like this doesn't happen again.

Frieden und Liebe,

( Posted by: the Co.konspirator [Member] On: September 3, 2004 )

another round, Bart
No, I'll leave well enough alone. That was really fun and I'm glad to have been asked. I'd love to do it in the future. Hey, I'll take the win based on some good advice from my Co-Host!!!!
Thanks Pen...

( Posted by: Arc [Member] On: September 3, 2004 )

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