Description: Thanks to phil askew for helping to soften the tone.
Snowdrops and Pearls -------------------------------------------
Five-O-Clock in February
and the moon already gleams
above the church like a pearl
set into the flower pattern
of a wedding dress.
But there is only one moon,
and many pearls compose
the traditional design.
Snowdrops raise their chilled heads
above earth hard as the stone
that built these houses
in Edwardian times.
Then, such delicate flowers as these,
were pressed into formal contracts
and spent their youth
in cold Winter marriages.
The beauty of this chilled image reminds me of an arranged marriage among the wealthy upper classes (where status tends to trump love and a glittering appearence is meant to camouflage the inner coldness of a loveless relationship). There is a wonder in the stucture and sonics that can't quite rival the sad irony of the last few lines (as if that bride looked upon the scene described wishing for warmth that far exceeded that which brushed her skin). Brief and perfect as a snowflake. Nicely done. Take care. Bill.
You have a great talent for bringing small pieces of your world to the masses. The moon, the church, the Edwardian houses all create the image. I wasn't familiar with Snowdrops, but the word flowers brought me right back. Beautiful image, crystal clear and a bit chilly. Clear February nights are always chilly.
Vanessa, this is lovely. Compare my Derelict House poem for a thematically similar one. I loved especially your second verse where you blend the snowdrops with young women in that painful image of their lives being pressed into Edwardian prayer books. This is not just a nice nature poem, it is an historical poem and makes a political statement about the lot of women in marriage. Great stuff.
Well this poem is about as light and delicate as a snowflake.
"inset into"...I was wondering if "set into" would still convey the same meaning since there seemed as if there was a redundancy here.
I loved the way set the emotional aspects of this poem against the static images of the moon and the stone/township and also the images of the snowflakes as delicate flowers...
When I read those final 3 lines the imagery that preceded them worked so that there's a quiet sadness to this piece and the snowflakes seem more like the funery veil of a spirit than the perfect adornment for a wedding.
Jumping back...the imagery of the moon at 5pm was superb...it really was a winter moment and a wonderful lead in to the theme.
Beautifully detailed and a piece where I think it all comes together so that those final lines resonate.
Hi Nessie, This is such a well said piece. We know it still happens to this day just as you stated. I love the title.
Then a sad lil feeling came over me. I started thinking about Prince Charles and Princess Di. She was such a delicate "flower'" with an inner beauty that shone. Nessie take care and God bless! luv wanda
This poem is full of "Snowdrops and Pearls", winter images, used to creat the bleak and harsh reality of Edwardian contract marriages. It begins at "Five-O-Clock in February" and ends "in cold Winter marriages". In between we are drawn into the coldness of the tradition and the conviction of the brides. An historical fact is portrayed in all of its ugliness, but wrapped in sincere, believable, and poignant images. Empathy for the mistreated is conveyed and felt by the reader. Nicely done.
"...like a pearl set into the flower pattern of a wedding dress."
Great tying together of Winter's moon and weddings.
"...hard as the stone that built the houses"
Here, you expose the toughness of the times, for these brides.
"in cold Winter marriages"
Great closing line leaves us feeling the chill.
I think the transition to the Edwardian age comes a bir abruptly, hinging on the word "were". To smooth this out a bit, maybe:
"that built these houses in Edwardian times"
and begin the next line with "Then".
I find the word "create' off, just slightly, in meaning. I think "pearls", "compose", "form", or "make up" the "design".
The word "rise" seems like it wants to be "raise" or "rise with"
"Snowdrops rise with chilled heads".
One more thing, I think you can say "youth" and not pluaralize it with an "s".
Terrific poem, showing great word choice, craftsmanship, and original thinking. The use of winter and weddings to fashion the stark, bitterness of human bondage was brilliant. I loved this poem.