Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Molding Something (Poem)

Molding Something

Upwards from her toes,
she went over herself

in the mirror walls, traced
the body she alone had seen

reflected, its every inch rubbed
faint pink, as though she were

polishing herself to be more
beautiful in the looking glass

clouded over with steam.
Her face, paling as she gazed,

went red to white; her eyes,
blue but unsmiling, dulled

with mirroring all she could
of the shape she wiped away

again, tenderly, gradually,
with so much care to make thin.

© 2013 Maureen E. Doallas

This is a found poem, which I crafted from a prose excerpt from Party Going (1939) by English novelist Henry Green (1905-1973). Last week, Tom Clark featured the excerpt at his wonderful blog. As it happened, the excerpt fitted this month's poetry theme at TweetSpeakPoetry: "Mirror, Mirror". 

New York Times Topics: Henry Green

Terry Southern Interview with Henry Green, The Paris Review, Summer 1958


the sad red earth said...

I absolutely love this, Maureen. From the opening

Upwards from her toes,
she went over herself

in the mirror walls,

the syntax and image-creation fully captured me. I was curious to see the original prose and how closely you had hewed to it: really very little. The poems is as much found in the dictionary as Green's prose, but there were the limited selection and the situation as a discipline.

The poem is really a pleasure.

aprille said...

Airbrushing herself svelte?
Love it.

emmett wheatfall said...

A lovely reflection. You presented an image I can never know experientually, nevertheless poetically. Beautiful.

Brian Miller said...

kinda sad to me...all the effort we spend into making ourselves into something....

Anonymous said...

I would never have realised this was a found poem if you hadn't told us, Maureen. It is, as your work always is, beautiful.

Laurie Kolp said...

I love found poems and this is gorgeous.

LaTonya Baldwin said...

Beautifully sad. Without reading your bio, your skill speaks clearly in this work. Not to diminish what is expressed but like the first reader, I, too, was impressed with your line breaks. Only with a seasoned writer can I write this and know you can appreciate my admiration. Enjoyed.

Margaret said...

Dancers. Most of them have so little time before their bodies start to break down. And the effort it takes to get "there". It takes a bit of obsession, and I'm sure, a lot of anxiety. FABULOUS found poem

Anonymous said...

It's the sterility of her existence that feels so pronounced to me.. a life of reflections. Love the flow and form.. Works a treat for this circular, insular life.

jen revved said...

Beautiful poem, Maureen-- the imagery flowers wonderfully-- poignant as well. xxxj

TALON said...

Oh, this was heartbreaking. Our desire to scrub free what we see when we look at our reflections.

A powerful piece.