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(At The Villa Barchessa, Florence)

Consider the place
where he first saw her standing
in the hotel foyer. Framed
by a vaulted window
her hair billowed in the light. Auburn
warmed the gothic white
of skin and blouse, while her hand grasped
an Anjou pear, the shade of cherry wood
that comprised the wardrobe
in his room and bed posters spiraling
upward with exalted shine.
The fruit was ripe, its succulent peal
calling the beholder in
to imagine her winged
with peignoir sleeves, diffusing
any thought of sin, the gold clamp
of his ring.

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The following comments are for "Niche"
by Gwendrina

Lovely, but I'm missing some action
In general, I love the language of this piece. Very lush, very rich, without being over embellished.

I was tripped up, however, by a change in scene without any context. At the start, we are seeing her in the foyer, and the description follows her in that space. All of a sudden, the color of the pear brings us up to her room without any shift in the narrative stance. That is, we are told that "he first saw her" in Place 1... then we are viewing Place 2 without any additional framing.

Now... it's certainly possible (and not even improbable) that "he" has seen the wardrobe in her room, and is comparing in his mind the one view in the foyer to what he has seen elsewhere. But since we're not told this explicitly, I found that the solidness of the description got lost in the fuzziness of the "wait? what? where are we now?" of the changed scene.

There's a lot going on here that I really like. The "gold clamp of his ring" is especially beautiful. Nice and juicy, that. Especially after "diffusing any thought of sin," although I'm suffering from a similar lack of specificity there, as I'm not sure if it's the imagined peignoir sleeves or the ring that diffuse the thoughts of sin. I suspect the latter, but the grammar begs the question.

Very nice inner rhymes and liquid movement between lines. Great line breaks, too, near the top; provides a synesthetic feel that seems like someone walking down the stairs, and that's just f'in fantastic.

Nice, nice stuff. Glad to see you back here again.

( Posted by: andyhavens [Member] On: March 15, 2012 )

Hi Andy,

Very nice to meet you. And thank you so much for this in-depth review of my poem. Your keen eye has enabled me to see where I made a typing mistake in transporting this poem from the original text to the thread box. I should have more carefully proofread my insertion of "niche."

Instead of the anjou pear matching the color of furniture in her hotel room, it should have been
"in his room". I have edited the mistake. And what a difference in the progressive sequence of observation and action that makes. The man sees
this beauitful woman standing in a corner or niche of the Villa lobby and is totally captivated. The pear evokes all sort of passionate thoughts including the rather intimate details of his own room. Then he proceeds to fantasize about in a white peignoir or negligee. This ethereal yet sensual image diffuses any thoughts of sin or marriage. The positioning of "thoughts of sin " next to "the gold clamp of his ring" is meant to suggest , once again, her image in white dissolves both the mental realization of forbidden passion and the tactile feel and weight of his sacred commitment to another.

Again thankyou for taking the time to read and
comment on this poem.


( Posted by: gwendrina [Member] On: March 16, 2012 )

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