Friday, September 16, 2016

Test your English with a poem for a feeling

Those videos are made by a couple of Canadian girls that have other interesting websites related to their job (librarians). One of them has a website where you can ask for a poem that talks about a feeling and she sends you one to your email address.
I wrote her and asked for a poem about motherhood and the love for a baby, and I got this poem back.
I hadn't read poetry in English before, and at least for me this poem has been very difficult to understand.
The first time I read it I didn't understand what it talked about. Then I read it again and I understood it better. In fact, the more I read it, the more I like it. It doesn't suit me very well as I could only breastfeed my baby four months but the feeling beneath this poem is wonderful and I feel the same way.
I am not going to say what it talks about, this way you can test your understanding of English poems for adults.

Related Poem Content Details

Now I know that I’ve never described
anything, not one single thing, not
the flesh of the avocado which darkens
so quickly, though if you scrape
what’s been exposed to the air it’s new-green
beneath like nothing ever happened.
I want to describe this evening, though
it’s not spectacular. The baby babbling
in the other room over the din
and whistle of a football game, and now
the dog just outside the door, scratching,
rattling the tags on her collar, the car
going by, far away but loud, a car without
a muffler, and the sound of the baby
returning again, pleasure and weight.
I want to describe the baby. I want to describe
the baby for many hours to anyone
who wishes to hear me. My feelings for her
take me so far inside myself I can see the pure
holiness in motherhood, and it makes me
burn with success and fear, the hole her
coming has left open, widening. Last night
we fed her some of the avocado I’ve just
finished eating while writing this poem.
Her first food. I thought my heart might burst,
knowing she would no longer be made
entirely of me, flesh of my flesh. Startled
in her amusing way by the idea of eating,
she tried to take it in, but her mouth
pushed it out. And my heart did burst. 

Carrie Fountain, "Eating the Avocado" from Instant Winner.  Copyright © 2014 by Carrie Fountain.  Reprinted by permission of Penguin Books, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.
Source: Instant Winner (Pengiun Books, 2014)

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