40 Comments

  1. What a spectacular image! I especially love:
    “where you go to curl your toes
    into prayers”

    I imagine a swimmer, on the edge of the pool, getting ready to dive.

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    1. My first thought was of those individuals who go and stand right on the edge of cliffs. It always turns my stomach a bit, the sheer drop that doesn’t seem to bother them. There’s a freedom in not fearing getting that close to an edge though.

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  2. ‘you’re so wind washed of expression,
    clinging on.’
    I love that image. What must go through the minds of people who stand so close to the edge? I wouldn’t dare; I get vertigo just thinking about it!

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  3. This is incredibly deep and potent. I agree, the image “curl your toes into prayers,” makes for a great metaphor for those who wish to dive into a pool of conviction 🙂

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    1. I mulled over the prompt for a bit, worried that my first few ideas were a bit too obvious or close to poems I’d written before. This ended up being the idea I settled with, so it’s lovely it went down so well.

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  4. I had to read your quadrille a couple of times, Carol, and each time a different image came into my head. The first time, I saw a diver on the edge of a diving board; the second, someone on a roof; and the third, someone on the edge of a cliff (which could have been because I watched the film ‘Hope Gap’ at the weekend). I love the phrases ‘where you go to curl your toes into prayers’ and wind washed of expression’.

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  5. The phrase wind washed expression sticks in my mind. I think when (and if) I EVER get to be with people again, not just my expression will be wind washed!! Love the curled toes though!

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  6. Perhaps I’m revealing too much of my genetic heritage, but I don’t care: my mother had exteeeeemely prehensile toes. She could actually pick things up (& I’m not just talking about tissue papers or small crumbs). I swear to god she could probably pick up golf balls.

    You paint these toes beautifully, Carol. Write on, Sister!

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  7. Adrenalin junkies feel alive on the edge. There has be another way to get a thrill, but I don’t know of any. Lots of potent imagery that evoked good comments.

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  8. I can’t get enough of this. I read it a few times. The words you chose are incredibly beautiful, especially those last two lines. I think they will stick with me 🙂

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  9. I can just imagine toes wrapped onto the edge of a diving board.
    I really like the way you describe the toes as
    “Ten tiny bodies bent shoulder and hip
    heads tucked in tight,”
    This is just a wonderful poem.

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  10. Lovely tension in this piece – the image of the ten tiny bodies resisting the impulse, the shift in weight – and over it all the scary title of your piece – makes my toes curl.

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  11. The first reading is about the sounds, which flow so beautifully, and the second where the more concrete meeting seeps through, and the third where you get the visual. Wonderful.

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  12. Funny thing, Carol, but I immediately saw 10 young boys dressed in orange linen, heads shaved, crouched together in prayer at a Buddhist shrine. A marvellous poem.

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  13. Your ‘knife-edge’ is thoughtful and unique, shaped equally physically as it is mentally. Loving these ending lines: “from the weight pressing forward,
    you, so wind washed of expression,
    clinging on.”

    Reply

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