Remembering My First Smocked Chemise

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SivaRamanathan
Posts: 1168
Joined: 14 May 2011, 20:30

Remembering My First Smocked Chemise

#1 Post by SivaRamanathan » 30 Apr 2013, 23:38

Edited

"My First Smocked Chemise"

In the cloister, the sisters
stitched their secret;
through pigeon-holes
we watched their thimbles
wondering if it was a pear,
peacock or push-cart.

Pastel shades of nylon
baby gowns with smocked busts
and baby frills alternated
with coloured embroidery.
Each stitch equally spaced
with a computer precision.

The Sisters of Cluny
and a handiwork of art
handed over through generations.
Over-seeing the minute fabrication,
mannequins dressed up as angels.
The ancient grey structures of Pondicherry
and the feast of all those Saints.
Most of all the charity sale
my family indulged in clothes
from the nunnery of Christ-brides.

The white froth of the sea
the washed out hue of bright colours
concocted to match a mingle of waves
rising like the dust of mud roads.
Padded necks patterned with curves
and angles, linings of soft linen,
and tiny loops for buttons
like the eyes of birds.

On the kitchen shelf
I see my childhood photo:

White frock and red rose
Black frock and white rose
a toothless smile

and remember mother
who must have requested the photographer
to sit for a little, then she hurried
to the garden to picture-pick those flowers.








In the cloister, the sisters
stitched their secret;
from outside pigeon-holes
we watched their thimbles
wondering if it was a pear,
a peacock or a push-cart.

Pastel shades of nylon
baby frocks with smocked busts
and baby frills alternated
with coloured embroidery
minutely executed, equally
spaced stitches as if precision
was computer marked -a handwork
handed over through generations.

The neat and exquisite finish
for three month babies to twelve-
year old girls. The Sisters of Cluny
dressed up mannequins as Angels.
Pondicherry with all its ancient
grey buildings and the feast
of all those Saints mainly
the charity sale my family indulged
in clothes from a clan of dedicated
Christ- brides.

The white froth of the sea
the washed out hue of bright colours
concocted to match a crazy mix of waves
rising like the dust of mud roads
padded necks patterned with curves and angles
and buttons like the eyes of birds
tiny loops to push the button through
the insides lined with soft linen.

On the kitchen shelf
I see my childhood photo
White frock and red rose
Black frock and white rose
Smiling a toothless smile
and remember my mother
who must have run
to the rose bush for those roses
asking the photographer to wait a little.

Michael (MV)
Posts: 1617
Joined: 18 Apr 2005, 04:57

Re: Remembering

#2 Post by Michael (MV) » 02 May 2013, 06:05

Hi Siva, workshopped below   8)   Michael (MV)

"My First Smocked Chemise"

In the cloister, the sisters
stitched their secret;
through pigeon-holes
we watched their thimbles
wondering if it was a pear,
a peacock or a push-cart.

Pastel shades of nylon
baby frocks with smocked busts
and baby frills alternated
with coloured embroidery
minutely executed, equally
spaced stitches as if precision
was computer marked -a handwork
handed over through generations.

The neat and exquisite finish
for three month to twelve-
year old girls. The Sisters of Cluny
dressed up mannequins as Angels.     -- keep this image for certain
The ancient grey structures of Pondicherry
and the feast of all those Saints.
Most of all the charity sale
my family indulged in clothes
from a nunnery of Christ-brides.

The white froth of the sea
the washed out hue of bright colours
concocted to match a crazy mix of waves
rising like the dust of mud roads
padded necks patterned with curves and angles
and buttons like the eyes of birds
tiny loops to push the button through
the insides lined with soft linen.


I believe it takes too long to arrive at this last stanza (saving the best for last   :)
Perhaps the preceding stanzas can be streamlined.


On the kitchen shelf
I see my childhood photo:

White frock and red rose
Black frock and white rose
a toothless smile

and remember mother
who must have requested the photographer
to sit a little, then she ran
to the garden for those roses.



 

SivaRamanathan
Posts: 1168
Joined: 14 May 2011, 20:30

Re: Remembering My First Smocked Chemise

#3 Post by SivaRamanathan » 02 May 2013, 07:02

Michael
Thank you.I wish you would tell me in a more direct way what I should do. Streamline the earlier stanzas.I will try.I know you will make more suggestions,once I have tried.

Michael (MV)
Posts: 1617
Joined: 18 Apr 2005, 04:57

Re: Remembering My First Smocked Chemise

#4 Post by Michael (MV) » 02 May 2013, 18:40

Hi Siva,

re the 2nd, 3rd & 4th stanzas:


"The neat and exquisite finish
for three month to twelve-
year old girls."

^^ I don't believe this is needed.

"The neat and exquisite finish" - I believe this is already said here:

"minutely executed, equally
spaced stitches as if precision
was computer marked "

^^ so, look for redundancy that can be eliminated.
What to leave in, what to leave out.
In the 4th stanza, "buttons" is 2x in one line after another. (see below)

Consider some rearrangement. Fo example, look at

"a handiwork
handed over through generations."

relocated stanza 3. Notice "handiwork" has connotation that belongs in the convent     :)    "His handiwork"

"The insides lined with soft linen." - good line/image/sonics
Perhaps better as the 6th line of stanza 4. And I have streamed a bit (see below)


Siva, below in current workshop toto.

beware of what you wear
it might become a habit :)

Michael (MV)


"My First Smocked Chemise"

In the cloister, the sisters
stitched their secret;
through pigeon-holes
we watched their thimbles
wondering if it was a pear,
peacock or push-cart.

Pastel shades of nylon
baby gowns with smocked busts
and baby frills alternated
with coloured embroidery.
Each stitch equally spaced
with a computer precision.

The Sisters of Cluny
and a handiwork of art
handed over through generations.
Over-seeing the minute fabrication,
mannequins dressed up as angels.
The ancient grey structures of Pondicherry
and the feast of all those Saints.
Most of all the charity sale
my family indulged in clothes
from the nunnery of Christ-brides.

The white froth of the sea
the washed out hue of bright colours
concocted to match a mingle of waves
rising like the dust of mud roads.
Padded necks patterned with curves
and angles, linings of soft linen,
and tiny loops for buttons
like the eyes of birds.

On the kitchen shelf
I see my childhood photo:

White frock and red rose
Black frock and white rose
a toothless smile

and remember mother
who must have requested the photographer
to sit for a little, then she hurried
to the garden to picture-pick those flowers.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

SivaRamanathan
Posts: 1168
Joined: 14 May 2011, 20:30

Re: Remembering My First Smocked Chemise

#5 Post by SivaRamanathan » 02 May 2013, 22:46

Michael
I will look into this in the morning.I am too tired now.
Thank you.

User avatar
Billy
Posts: 952
Joined: 22 Jun 2006, 10:56

Re: Remembering My First Smocked Chemise

#6 Post by Billy » 11 May 2013, 07:44

Very good revision, Siva. Glad Michael nominated your poem for IBPC. It's got a good chance of being picked.

SivaRamanathan
Posts: 1168
Joined: 14 May 2011, 20:30

Re: Remembering My First Smocked Chemise

#7 Post by SivaRamanathan » 11 May 2013, 21:24

Thank you Billy.Michael did everything.I am glad to represent the board with both of you.

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