Description: My grandmother had some Russian nesting dolls she kept on her mantle. I loved to play with them when we would go there on summer vacations.
Four Russian Seasons -------------------------------------------
as eggs - Broken
open at their middles -
Sisters who fit, each inside
their next: redhot Summer
packed into goldleaf Autumn
frozen inside iceblue Winter
cradled within newgreen
Spring melting. I replace
the tiniest stolen sister,
Fearing a year with
The imagery is really good here - using the dolls as a metaphor for seasons and by extension the natural order. Especially the nomenclature given to the dolls - that captures their essence quite well, not only intrinsically but also visually.
And this is a very visual piece indeed. I am neither a poet nor an ES vet, so I have little idea of formatting; but it can't have been easy working this shape poem into the proper contours.
Your ending has the most feeling, I do believe. Fearing a world without summer... It shows the fragility of the Russian dolls on the surface, the fragility of the world beneath that, and after that... well, the fears about global warming and the fears about nuclear winter are both symbols of their times, aren't they?
This piece really shows a finger on the pulse of the soul.
My only complaint is that the dolls' names sound a bit... contrived. I'm sorry; I can think of no better word.
Hey, aren't those Russian dolls called Babushkas? I know there's another name for them but I forget.
You wanted nitpicking details... so, I'll try.
Hrm, I guess I'll throw something out at ya, huh? How about making this into something concrete ie shaping it like one of those dolls? Funky stuff? I think so lol. Here, maybe something like this:
Four dolls perfect as eggs, broken open at their middles: Sisters that fit each inside the next. Redhot summer packed in goldleaf autumn frozen inside iceblue winter cradled within newgreen spring melting. I replace the tiniest stolen sister, fearing a year with no summer.
Not sure if this will turn out right when I centre it, but hopefully it does...
Very abstract. Very unique. I see that you're being brave here - being from LA, you're commenting on Russian weather and I assume you have never been there (forgive me if I'm wrong).
I do like the language used here - not too spicy, but not bland either (almost like a good gumbo!)
I must say though, I don't quite get it. The dolls being broken in the middle...What does this mean? I understand the dolls representing seasons and the overlap between them. I understand Summer being the tiniest because it is the shortest season in Russia.
But I do want to say this: Don't change anything. the reason is because I can feel meaning here, but I don't get it yet - the poem may be a riddle and I like riddles and I'll ask you if I can't get it.
Specifically, I'd like to know the speaker - little girl? God?