5.11.2013

The Truth About Violets

They gave each of us cousins,
your grandchildren,
a potted violet, your favorite.
I tended mine,
along with your old asparagus fern,
the one that had been Monya’s.
In truth, that fern
only lasted a few more years
in my care,
and violets are fussy little plants
prone to giving up in protest.
Like you did.
Flowers in Violet, original encaustic by Kim Nelson
For Kim Nelson's weekend prompt to the Real Toads: The Color Violet

23 comments:

  1. Such sadness here. Poignant words.

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  2. I really enjoy the final lines pulling the likeness of plant and relationship together...a delicate violet thread...woven well, Marian!

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  3. Women who are as alive as your grandma definitely do give up in protest - I plan to as well:)They better not plan on bringing that curtain down any time soon, still so much to do!

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  4. I never could keep a potted violet. They are indeed strong willed, and demanding, but so beautiful. Much as I envision your grandmother when you write about her.

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  5. Amazingly connected imagery. Love and grandma, ferns and violets and all. We miss them, don't we?

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  6. And yet one violet leaf will grow another plant and another, if even in memory.

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  7. So sad. You pinched my heart with your words.
    http://writingsbycharleen.blogspot.com/2013/05/a-violet-celebration.html

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  8. Oh, that last line made my heart thump. So poignant. (I don't have a green thumb either.)

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  9. I must have a tough African Violet, for it has survived my less than perfect care very well...I put it down to the ongoing. absent love of the brother who gave it me, when he was visiting from the other side of the globe!

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  10. They are indeed fussy little plants but they do need a lot of car ~ Like the metaphor of those plants ~

    Happy Mother's Day ~

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  11. My grandmother could grow african violets from a piece of leaf--I can't keep one alive to save my life. An excellent use of metaphor here, marian, and a lot said under the hood.

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  12. Oh my, the lump in my throat is palpable .. especially today.

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  13. Fussy little plants?
    You are giving them a bad name.
    They couldn't be easier to grow.
    Maybe it is African Violets you are thinking of?(SaintPaulia)

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  14. Growing fussy violets (who give up) as metaphor is powerful here.

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  15. I like the connection and comparison between violets and your grandmother ... you gave nature human qualities and vice versa ... well done.

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  16. There's a certain matter-of-factness, the ability to keep the strong emotions to a simmer, that makes this piece as strong as it is. There could have been easily been rending of garments and gnashing of teeth here, which would weakened the poem by overwhelming it in a flood of emotion. The control makes the final line that much more stark and unsettling.

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  17. My grandmother, who could multiply violets by alternating their shade and sun, also gave up, sorta, at 102 years of age. At least it felt that way. I lost the African Violets, but I am still rooting leaf and stems from her Angel Wing Begonia. i love your poem, hopping from name to name to longing.

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  18. So sweet and so sad, Marian, especially the last line.
    My grandmother could grown African Violets beautifully, too. She had a special touch, which I lack somehow.
    K

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  19. the last 3 lines are oh-so-beautiful!

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  20. Your last line is a real punch in the stomach. This is a tightly written, beautiful poem.

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