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Poetry Sisters Project — October, 2016

My pals and I have taken on quite a few ekphrastic challenges this year because, well — because we like them and we’re in charge! This month, Kelly provided the inspiration.

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This statue, Arlequin, is by Rene de Saint-Marceaux and lives at the Musee des Beaux Artes in Lyon, France. I love this piece — it came alive for me completely and resulted in this:

Arlequin
By Liz Garton Scanlon

Hello, masked rascal, boy king,
Peter Pan with the cocky stance.

I knew you in high school,
you asked me to dance

and acted like it was my idea,
you threw frisbee, had a flask

were so sure that you could fly
and the water tower cried its siren cry.

But here’s the thing
with myths, they bleed together –

you’re a harlequin, an Icarus,
to the manor born and Shakespeare’s fool.

And what I want to say to you
is this: unmask the eyes,

obey the rules, grow up a bit.
It isn’t easy here, but harder

when you’re counterfeit.

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You’ll want to see what the others have done, too!
Sara Lewis Holmes
Tanita Davis
Kelly Ramsdell Fineman
Tricia Stohr-Hunt
Laura Purdie Salas

And Poetry Friday’s being celebrated over at Violet Nesdoly’s place — enjoy!

Posted on 10/07/2016 05:52 am
 

8 Comments

  1. This might be one of my favorites of all your Poetry Sisters poems. It’s just so…precise and personal and powerful. That line: “I knew you in high school; you asked me to dance” sets up everything that follows—and I’m persuaded to read it again and again- Really, really lovely.

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  2. Kelly Ramsdell Fineman

    Ohh – LOVE this! And yes, Peter Pan’s stance! That and the expression on his face (and in his eyes, which my photos didn’t do justice to) really evoke Pan somehow!

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  3. I read your poem and a boy from high school immediately came to mind. I love that the poem provokes such strong memories for me. My favorite lines ring so true about high school and life: “It isn’t easy here, but harder/when you’re counterfeit.”

    Lovely poem.

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  4. This reads like lyrics to a fabulous singer-songwriter song, Liz. Do you sing? I remember hearing Jane Siberry at a small venue and she told stories and sang songs, and this echoed back somehow to one of those. Love how you went from a personal story (in poem, not real life) to a bigger truth.

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  5. Jenn Hubbard

    I love where you took this.

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  6. ZING! Love that last stanza! I’ll send this poem out to almost all of the teenage boys in my past, too!

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  7. Love this poetry. Feels so different of what I read. Poetry is so free and limitless, great. Owl sees Owl.

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  8. *sigh*
    This still trumps — ahahaha, see what I did there??? — all of the other poems this week. This is how gential-grabbing boy-children end up fifty-nine year old embarrassments to mother and country — they refuse to take off that mask.

    NOW more than ever – a needful thing, maturity…

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