Thursday, April 2, 2009


'Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all

Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.'

in memory

you stand

an abstraction

of sensuous delight


reverie out

of all proportion

with grim reality

does not withstand

a detailed scrutiny

i write to invent

not re-create


i must




a matter

of perspective


  1. Karen, very well done. You put me onto this one.

    The Antique Vase

    The vase finally
    shattered. I was too careless
    for you, I know this,
    as if I broke you,
    not the pottery, as if
    I meant to do it,
    as if it was an
    ancient Greek treasure instead
    of the garage sale
    derelict we bought.

  2. Staggering!!! I love not alone the way how you have expressed this one!!! Look at that structure!!! Mind-blowing!!! It replicates the image's shape. Well done!!! That's quite creative!!!

    Yea, it is undoubtedly "a matter of perspective".

    Keep writing!!!

  3. Well done! It can't have been easy to construct within those limitations. I think it looks wonderful and sounds even better. I like "an abstraction of sensuous delight". This must have been fun too!


  4. Yes! I have seen other poets do "picture" poems like this, but yours is by far the best I've seen in a long time. How do you come up with such great ideas? You're awesome, woman. The ending is my favorite part, too. It's all perspective.

  5. Nice shape! I love it when poetry has curves...

  6. With rhymes too, as if the shape wasn't showing off enough. I think we can all agree with Kat about the fun of being involved with abstractions of sensual delight.

  7. "in memory

    you stand

    an abstraction

    of sensuous delight"

    A very powerful line to start with Karen, it just keeps getting better.

    I can't possibly imagine, how you created this within the confines of retaining the shape.

    Its a piece of art... a CONCRETE poetry indeed. You're awesomely-super-sensationalistic (pardon the strrt talk :-) )!

  8. Christopher - I love the way you've made the urn even more concrete by shattering it - along with so many other things you shared with the owner. Very nice!

    Kat - To tell the truth, I hesitated to shape this as the urn, but in my mind, the poem and the "Attic shape" were closely connected by my thinking. The poem came first.

    Julie - Thank you. This was fun to manipulate once the poem was written, but I did have to change a couple of words to make it work. That was an agony of sorts. I liked the sound of the other words better, but they made a misshappen urn! I'm glad you like it.

    Rachel - Thanks. Poetry with curves -- sometimes it throws a curve, if you know what I mean!

    Mairi - See my comment to Kat about the writing and shaping of this. I actually had to sacrifice a good (better) word to make it work. :-(

    Aniket - You are such a wonderful cheerleader for the rest of us! I always know that if you comment, I'll leave with a smile. Thank you, my friend.

  9. Brosreview - Sorry I missed you in my comments above. You are also a greatly positive friend with your comments. Thank you for that, and thanks for the enthusiasm for this poem.

  10. ROFL!

    I've been said many things Karen, but "cheerleader", thats the first one!

    I don't know if Aine would like the competition. :P

  11. Fantastic, Karen, from content to shape...

    i write to invent
    not re-create

    That is so true.

  12. This is beautiful, Karen :)

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. (sorry for the typo!)

    Karen, this is amazing. Amazing!! I can't believe that blogger let you get it up properly either! It must have known that this poem would not be denied!

    Very profound last line, and I might borrow it with my mother-in-law. ;)

  15. Vesper - I keep examining that fine line between the truth and the fiction in writing. I'm glad you like it.

    Faith - I'm happy to see you here. Thank you.

    Jennifer - I'm so happy you like it! It does look better as a Word document, where the lines are closer together. That way, it appears more urn-like. Here it looks like a tall, slender vase, but at least it's recognizable as such. I'm glad you like the last line -- that's the Truth to be found in this.

  16. I couldn't resist this;)


    just a little laugh. Hope the link works....

  17. Clever and poetic = doubly clever. I really enjoyed this on all sorts of levels. Finely done.

  18. "...a matter of perspective." I like that so much. Great shape poem! Inspired by Keats and his Grecian Urn, one can never go wrong!
    (Not that you would ever go wrong anyway!) :)

  19. Dave - Thank you. I really didn't set out to be clever, but when clever came, I couldn't resist! ;-)

    K - You know how it works, I had the poem in my head, then I made the connection to the Ode. When I started to write it and look at the phrasing, the shape just sort of "happened." Anyway, I didn't set out to write a shape poem, but that's what I got. (And that's probably more information than you wanted.) ;-)

  20. Hey, Karen!
    I've tagged you for a little meme over at "Keepsakes". Are you keen?


  21. Hello Karen! nice concrete poetry there. :) perfect! really a matter of perspective!

  22. Damsel - Welcome, and thanks for visiting and commenting. I'm glad you liked this one.

    Kat - How can I do these when I'm keeping secrets? ;-)

  23. Karen, this is excellent! The shape is very delicate and perfect and curves in all the right places just exactly so, I love it. Very feminine. The poem as a poem is also most excellent and I love how it ends.

  24. I read this a couple days ago, and I was so struck with it, I wanted to let it percolate a bit.

    I'm still struck by it. I feel like it speaks to the super reality we see--the real augmented by everything our hopes, desires, and fears adds on. The speaker is realizing the distinction between real and perceived, and in that objectivity, not committing to a choice.

  25. Cat - Thanks. It was sort of fun to play with the shape, but I didn't want that to overcome the poem itself. I'm glad you commented on both; that makes me think it works on both levels.

    Jason - I really was thinking about the disparities in our remembered past and our real past -- as you say, the super reality augmented by all of our desires. You understand this exactly as I felt it. I'm so glad you came back. Thank you for your insightful comments.

  26. Karen, I read this on a feed last week, and feel shameful about taking this long to comment. It's actually a poem I feel quite passionate about, and I love its shape. It's perfect.

    (That said, I want to know what word you had to lose to make it curve just right!)

    Its beauty does not overwhelm its truth, though. The subjective reality is all we know. It's difficult to pick apart the threads. Memory is a many-layered souffle, and something very apart from the experience as we knew it.

    You've made all of our true perspectives into a personal work of art. Magnificent!!

  27. beautiful - form & function - which is so, so hard to do - but you pulled this one off flawlessly. perhaps the greatest secret of any writer is the words we sacrifice - painful, but here,(from my perspective) not at all at the expense of the poem. and i love how it is a reflection inside a reflection - and truer than we want it to be sometimes.

  28. This is really amazing Karen. How you managed to write such a superb poem and keep it in the shape of the urn.
    Your last lines say everything - A matter of perspective.

  29. dear karen... this was my first visit to your blog and i was spell bound... aniket is right, you do redefine poetry... i loved how your poem turned into an urn... all perspective, no?
    i'll keep coming back. take care. do visit...

  30. Sarah - You are so right about memory. I sometimes wonder if my sister and I actually grew up in the same home because our memories differ so much, layered by our own perspectives.

    By the way, I lost both "hazy" and "distant" and some really good punctuation!

    Thanks for your comments, Sarah. As always, your insights add to the discussion and provoke thought.

    Aniket - Thank you, friend!

    joaquin - As usual, you have gone to the heart of this - a reflection within a reflection - memory, truth, and writing. Thank you so for continuing to read and leave your most welcome comments. (It's Thursday -- yay!)

    Margaret - Thank your very nice comment, and thanks for stopping by to read. Do come back.

    Little Girl Lost - Welcome! I've seen your name on my friend Aniket's site! Thank you so much for your kind comment an for visiting. Do come back. I will visit you, too.

  31. joaquin hit the nail on the head with his insightfulness - "a reflection within a reflection" - quite clever! I love how you were able to pull off creating this concrete poem on blogger. You are the master!

    "Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought/ As doth eternity"

  32. Jana - I thought you'd like the Keats take. I hope he doesn't mind! ;-)