IMAGE & POEM (NOVEMBER 2007)

About Turning Mortal

This poem evolved from the idea of "becoming mortal" and the mortality of a beautiful moment.

Here, a man watches his wife , fresh out of the shower, wrapped in a white towel and arranging vegetables in a pewter bowl. He is struck by the power of this single event, the scene of an ordinary task by an ordinary female elevated to the height of something beautiful and intimately sacred. Venus de Milo is the ancient ideal of love, beauty and passion. Yet, she is a ruin, a statue without arms, an ideal of womanhood that cannot hug or be hugged, that cannot reach out and grab the glory of everyday life. But while watching his wife handle these garden greens, he thinks if that ideal could be transfigured into mortal form, it would absorb the entire persona of his bride, Galina.

He also knows this impression can only last minutes, this evening scene is as individual in its occurrence and influence as a finger print. Though Galina may perform this same routine another night, same ingredients and cuisine, it will be different, the light, the feelings, her look, his immediate reaction. Yet, what does last is the memory of the moment, that sense of sudden awakening that is re-emphasized by the green of asparagus and the tenderness of its stalks. The pewter bowl also serves to represent an aspect of humility.

© 2011, Wendy Howe. E-mail.