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9Enforced Bliss

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Though small and squat I bought you.
Could not resist your slender arms
your reedy branches, a real Charlie
Brown tree, so bare and sorrowful,
as if asking, Who would want me?
I know this. And as I looked I saw
in you a bit of me; Thin and pale,
barren of decoration. You were plain,
but never the same as your cousins,
those Yorkshire lads who’d pour
pints into half-wits And toss out
Sunday slaps. We had transcended.
Let others do the taking.

You were mine. I paid ten dollars
for the honor and drove you home,
gentle in my car, we sat as twin-
front seated and quiet, we arrived.
I would brave the basement spiders,
I would climb the narrow stair
because I loved you. I emerged
cobweb draped, filthy, bearing
strings of green-light sparkle.
We’d make a star of us yet.
You sat on the table and
I moved, a dancer I placed
each thing with such reverence
one would laugh, but I didn’t.
We would have no store-bought decoration.
Instead, I sought my precious objects,
placed high on your branches:
a bracelet from Paris, a silver bird
to squeeze lemons, origami cranes
made in the year I was sure
I was dying.

I stood back, hit the socket
and you lit up, beating
lumen after lumen, green
enchanted, you became
a chatterbox tree, nestled with
a thousand iridescent starlings
who came bearing tidings
of promise and I knew that it was true.

sadi ranson-polizzotti

Sadi Ranson-Polizzotti


The following comments are for "little tree"
by sadijane

Lil' One
This is a very rich and impressionistic work.

If the goal was to delve into the holiday feelings, it is light and free on holiday; if the goal was to concentrate on the feelings and emotions surrounding the tree, then it is a bit heavy, almost to the point of being a narrative. Maybe it is also a welcome result, being a narrative to a favorite song. But, it's still a touch too Shakespearean for the subject, in my subjective opinion, as I ponder the object in abject, treeless desert.


( Posted by: Teflon [Member] On: December 13, 2004 )

hi tef
thanks, Teflon; i didn't get a goal with the note, only to write a poem about Christmas or a Christmas Tree so i wrote the real story of how my tree came about this year. I can say for a fact that this is a true story, and in that way, i think it lends it a certain authority; it may not be all glistening with tinsel, but there is promise in there and to me, that's what the season is about - it's about promise, not flash. something more real and that is what i wanted to get at. to write about the tinsel and the presents etc. was almost too easy and i wanted to try something harder for me... and maybe it worked, maybe not. i'm glad you liked parts of it -- and i take your comments well.

look forward to seeing what everyone thinks; thanks for taking the time, Tef... i appreciate it, as ever....

be well,

sadi r-p

( Posted by: sadijane [Member] On: December 13, 2004 )

Very originally written, I agree it could have done with more imagery as is the style I warm too. But this still kept me all the way through and the ending was fulfilling.

Well done!


( Posted by: londongrey [Member] On: December 13, 2004 )

little tree
dear sadijane:

i've never thought of a christmas tree in any spiritual light because of the way most people treat christmas trees - as consumer objects.

The tree in your poem is a return to something deeper, that i had heard about but didn't know... i really enjoyed this.

thank you for writing this,


( Posted by: bets [Member] On: December 13, 2004 )

Sadi's Tree
I can easily relate to the realness in this story of your plain and tiny tree. I do not think it is over done in any fashion because this IS a personable tale.

We may not all celebrate Christmas for our own reasons but to us that do, it is a time that delve's up memories. Fortunate to be here now to actually celebrate, perhaps less fortunate that our losses or near losses ones follow us to this time of "rejoicements".

I read this with eyes wide open and read it several times before commenting on it. I think I would have liked to SEE more, perhaps felt more as well. The color of the needles, the scent they wrapped you in, in your car.

Sandi your last verse had punch, truth and beauty. I loved it so. All your precious memories linking your past to now. Wonderful and THAT is a big part of Christmas Spirit.

Thank you for sharing this and you did a fine job Sadi.

Best of the Season to you,

( Posted by: Dareva [Member] On: December 13, 2004 )

Your writing although yes a bit narrative it served to remind me of my attitude when decorating. Eliminating the commercialism of Christmas and remembering the real reason behind the holiday. And decorating nature in one's home with simple items and ornaments each one rich with treasured memories. The scent of the tree that fills the house with its endearing aroma. "Oh christmas tree, oh christmas tree...."

( Posted by: CJHerlihy [Member] On: December 13, 2004 )

Write Off - sadijane
I enjoyed this poem very much. It has both pathos and edgy humor and I felt it went deeper than Nae's fine effort.

Your empathy with the ugly duckling tree is touching and effective.

Also, the form of the poem has an emotional taughtness that is satisfying.

The part where you decorate the tree ("I moved, a dancer...") captures the feeling of one of those small ecstasies that magically visit us from time to time in our lonely and vulnerable moments.

( Posted by: gomarsoap [Member] On: December 14, 2004 )

Little Tree
A bit heavy I thought and a tad long but none the less a wonderful piece of work

( Posted by: lynlin [Member] On: December 14, 2004 )

This is a very strong contender for the write-off - I'm impressed.

You've got a strong theme going here, with some wonderfully descriptive language. It was maybe a little bit too long, but I'm not going to hold that against it.

As I said, I liked your theme, but I actually preferred the stories in Nae's poem. But what clinched the win for you here in my eyes was your poetic style in this piece - I loved it. The poem soars with a rhythm that works perfectly. Good stuff.

I was intrigued by the diversity of national references - the Yorkshire lads, the dollars, the Paris bracelet. An interesting mix.

I'm curious about one point - the line-break between 'Charlie' and 'Brown': it suprised me, but also, reading the two lines independently, the meaning changes, and introduces some interesting undertones ("A real Charlie", and "Brown tree" vs "A real Charlie Brown tree"). I'm wondering whether that was deliberate? (though I can't see any other reason for having the line break there)

Thank you. :-)

( Posted by: Spudley [Member] On: December 14, 2004 )

What Gomarsoap said helped me enjoy this writing more. I have no problem with the length though. You made the purchase appear even more graceful with this line: I paid ten dollars/for the honor and drove you home,/ to justify the warmth of affection you show for this little Christmas tree, which is really really good. I could almost picture you here waltzing around your tree, like a woman celebrating her lovely child.

Even though I liked this Sadi, I am afraid I still have to choose between the two entries and I am choosing Renae's. I am very glad there's this new write-off because I always wait for one. And for you Sadi to participate is great honor to all of us readers.

( Posted by: peterpaulino [Member] On: December 14, 2004 )

Sadi's Tree
I liked this poem for a couple of reasons.
You held your emotion in check to wtite an intelligent, thoughtful piece that makes the Christmas cheer take a back seat to the reality of life. Sometimes folks just don't feel Christmassy but go ahead and do their best to pay homage anyway.In the buying, trimming, and critical adoration of the tree, you pulled you and it up by the bootstraps to celebrate in a most sincere way.
The other reason I liked it was you paid heed to internal rhyme and meter to some degree, and I liked the combination of assonance and alliteration you used to make this work flow smoothly. Excellent. Thumbs up.


( Posted by: williamhill [Member] On: December 14, 2004 )

Sadi's Tree
There's a lot in here to like. The stream-of-consciousness style of your musings appeals to me, and some of your lines and images are wonderful ("iridescent starlings" -- love it!).

Yet, one of the best aspects of a stream-of-consciousness style is its natural, unforced, un-self-consciuous character. Here, though, there are several lines that seem squished in, as though you wanted to make certain references and had to find a place to put them. Those spots obscured the beauty of the poem, to a degree.

( Posted by: Viper9 [Member] On: December 15, 2004 )

The Tree and I
Sadi, I find it ironic that so many of the commenters, here, have based their criticism, not on what your poem actually is, but on what they expected it to be -- something which stands in droll contrast to the theme of your entry, that a Christmas tree, much like life, is not about the expectations you begin with, but what you make of what you take as you go.

I, personally, find that your entry reads smoothly as a poem which is finally crafted, from beginning to end. I love that you worked a traditional theme -- a Christmas tree -- into something which is both more and apart from a modern view of Christmas.

Of course, the roots of Christmas go back to a pagan era in which Yule was a celebration of the Winter Solstice. The thematic elements and the date of the holiday were adopted by early Christians as a celebration of Christ's birth as a means of underlining what they took as an essential truth -- that the moment before the dawn of the birth of Christ was humanity's darkest hour, just as the week of Christmas is the moment when we drift farthest from the sun before we begin to return, once more.

It didn't entirely work on a rational level for me, but your entry through the basement with your tree seemed to underscore this concept well, as did your use of decorations you crafted when you thought you were dying. Intentional or not, your thematic elements all seemed to underscore a deeply valuable and moving truth -- that a passage through cold dark space, whether a brush with death or simply a careful appreciation of the various underlying reasons for this season -- allows us to transcend superficial reckonings of worth, on a powerfully personal level.

I concur with your tree and you, believing in tidings of promise, too, that hope underlies all of this and hope is the greatest gift of all.

Excellent, excellent work, Sadi. Very well done.

( Posted by: hazelfaern [Member] On: December 15, 2004 )

I really don't know if penelope and windychimes were reading the same poem as I. I'm going to be lazy and refer you to Hazelf's comments as a fine rep of my opinion. I will say though that I don't understand the crit that its somehow too self referential -- seemed to me that was its intention. It was highly personl, but I appreciate that, as I enjoy glimpses into others lives, then I'm able to make my own connections if I wish. I see no problem with style, I much prefer your lyricism to a forced rhyme.
Only problem I had was in the beginning where you refered to the the tree as "you" and then switched to you as "you". For me you captured your experience with warmth and feeling -- no, not my experience but I'll write about that if I so choose. a superior effort!

( Posted by: brad [Member] On: December 15, 2004 )

Little Tree

( Posted by: ExpectantFather [Member] On: December 16, 2004 )

Little Tree

I wanted to take a moment and say this was alot of fun. You are a wonderful writer and a worthy component. Your poem is beautiful. Made me feel a little sad inside, but with a glimmer of hope. I absolutely love that episode of Charlie Brown, and the use of it in this poem warmed my heart and made me think of the many times I watched it and enjoyed it as a child (and adult). Thank you for this very interesting week.

Wishing you forever smiles,

( Posted by: nae411 [Member] On: December 16, 2004 )

the wrap up
Thanks to everyone for commenting and thanks for those of you who read a little deeper and sought out the true meaning of what i had intended here and tried. i did take a harder road to be sure, but that was by design. My goal was to try to capture a note of promise despite some hard things, and overall, i think that wasn't quite the mark that needed to be hit on this occasion. At the end of the day, i think people felt the poem too depressive or something, which i found odd because i had intended quite the opposite, but it's always good to get feedback because at the end of the day if the message you intend does not come through, then you have failed as a poet. So i accept that on this one and graciously admit defeat and turn it over to Nae who was able to present a far rosier picture and took a totally different, and ultimately, more successful approach.

I'd like thank Nae, especially for playing, and anyone who commented, regardless of opinion or style. I was, i have to say, really surprised by some of the comments, but each to his or her own. AT the end of the day, we are writers and as such, we write every day and we grow. If we don't see anything in another's work, then best to live and let live, in my view. From most of you though, i learned a great deal and for that i am truly grateful and for those of you who rooted for me, thanks again and sorry to disappoint. i gave it my best and knew this was not perhaps the biggest crowd-pleasure -- . So onward! and now back to other poems.

Be well, and have a safe and happy holiday season to all...



( Posted by: sadijane [Member] On: December 16, 2004 )

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