{Wed 7 March 2007}   Roses of Life (or, how not to write a poem)

Well, there’s been some discussion on this blog about whether my poetry is “accessible” or not… the jury’s still out on many related issues, such as which poems we’re talking about, to which audience/s one should aim to be accessible, and whether “accessible” is always good, for instance. I think most people would agree that the following is an example of an accessible poem that is puke-inducingly ghastly. I wrote this at the age of thirteen, obviously during one of my weaker moments…

(Warning: this might make you feel that you’re covered in icky stuff that just won’t come off for the rest of the day…)

Roses of Life

My heart is full of roses,
Of soft petals and cruel thorns.
Life and living it makes these posies:
Happiness the petals and sadness the thorns.

Light pink are the mem’ries of loved ones,
Deep red the embraces of lovers.
Soft yellow are my childhood companions,
Sweet orange are all the others.

Sharp, short, are innocent childhood hurts;
Long and curved the unfaithful friend.
Cruel, hooked, are the many “light-hearted” flirts;
Sword-sharp is youthful contempt for old men.

But through joy and grief has been growing
The flower of experience and wisdom:
She now her pure white petals is showing,
And her thorns are mere decoration.

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