With your lion’s-mane fringe
of boldest yellow, you
look down on me
or look up to the sky.
When I was a child
I used to measure
my height by you
tall in the summer sun
always taller than I
yet I knew, if I plucked a handful
of your zebra-stripped seeds
and planted them
I’d grow a plant which I
could tower over
for some short weeks
in early summer
now, long after this early sowing
every summer they stand proud
in all their colours, brightening the darkest cloud
still growing, still reminding me of you.
© Experimentsinfiction 2021, All Rights Reserved
A poem using concrete imagery
I was really interested to read Ren Powell’s Instagram Post about concrete vs. abstract imagery, especially as it started with the question ‘Do you write more often of cockroaches or “Love”?’ This made me realise that my poetry certainly tends towards the abstract, and made me want to challenge myself to do things differently.
Seamus Heaney was the master of this technique, using concrete objects to provoke an emotional response in the reader, with scant reference to the emotions themselves. Take, for example, his poem ‘Blackberry Picking.’
I had a go at concrete imagery in this poem. Sunflowers were my sister’s favourite flower, and for that reason whenever I see one, I think of her, and smile.
Sharing with earthweal’s Open Link Weekend.
This is very beautiful and poignant. That final line is incredible.
Thank you Lucy 🙏
Beautiful, Ingrid! I think abstract imagery is easier to write about. You did a great job with concrete imagery.
Thank you Punam ❤️
Beautiful poem, Ingrid, and poignant. You’ve given me something to think about, too.
Thank you Merril 🌻
You’re welcome! 😀
I always loved those sunflower images from the Tour de France.
Wow that’s amazing 🤩
Your nostalgic poem enriched many of my memory seeds, ..💕
Thank you Ivor 🌻
Lovely. The transformation from “zebra striped seeds” to towering glory is the ticket for me. My kid brother, who died years ago, loved to take pictures of sunflowers. Maybe there’s something in the spirit that sees a phoenix in them.
It could be so. Thank you Brendan.
Love that “lion’s mane fringe.” Totally delivers the picture right out of the box. 🌷
Thank you! 🌻
Love it. I think because I’ve had at least 3 sunflower volunteers show up in my yard this year.
Thank you 🙏 how lovely 😊
Lovely nostalgic poem…touching tribute. <3 My mother used to grow sunflowers, an amazing flower! 🙂 Hope you are enjoying your weekend.
This is lovely Ingrid. I’m growing sunflowers for the first time in years — my Sunflower memories are about my sons and an eight foot sunflower.
I am fully in love with the idea of writing a piece through concrete imagery! Love the way you employ sunflowers and growth here in this piece. 🙂
Thank you Jaya! It’s a good challenge and I’m going to try and do it more often.
sometimes I purchase sunflowers before Shabbat for our dinner table!
I never thought about sunflowers on a dinner table but I bet they really brighten things up! 🌻
“lion’s-mane fringe” is very good and the concrete imagery works!. A very skilful poem, Ingrid.
Thanks JIM. I will try this more often.
A sweet remembering. I can see your sister’s smile, bright as a sunflower……….I do love their sunny faces.
Thank you Sherry 😊
I have seen my share of sunflowers, grown many too and never thought of describing the seeds as “zebra-stripped.” Love this! Sunflowers have a magical quality, growing as fast as they do. I have a funny memory of finding (on my walk to school) and taking a sunflower in for show and tell in first grade. It seemed so huge at the time!
Very different, but your poem reminded me of Allen Ginsberg’s poem, “Sunflower Sutra.” Are you familiar?
I just looked up Ginsberg’s poem and wow! What imagery! Thanks for introducing me. I love the way my little sunflower poem led people to share their sunflower memories with me 😊
Cool! I studied him in college. His most famous poem, “Howl” is the one we spent the most time on. It is very long! I love that you took the time to look him up. Thank you. I am pleased you are enjoying his work. 😊 Something very symbolic about sunflowers.🌻
I know of him but haven’t read much of his poetry. When I have more time on my hands I will definitely read more of it!
each seed from that face, a memory of your sister, I wager – bright and abundant and bringing you the sweetest flavor to savor ~
Something like that, yes!
A lovely poem – nostalgic and beautiful
Thank you 🌻
I like this Ingrid. It definitely has emotions tucked into its imagery. (K)
They are always just below the surface I think!
smiling at this happy burst of concrete sunshine of the sunflower and I’m sure your sister is smiling down or up or all around at you (ok that wasn’t too concrete of an answer.. lol 😹
Thank you Cindy 🌻
Thank you 🌻
I absolutely love this!
Thank you 🌻
It’s really fantastic and inspiring
Thank you 🌻