IMAGE & POEM (JUNE 2010)

About Naming The Undeniable

This poem, based on Marie-France's  beautiful picture,  " Carmen à la rose ", studies temptation and addiction. The female speaker addresses her husband's cigarette habit and  its haunting effects. She personifies the temptation to smoke as Bizet's Carmen, the gypsy girl who seduced men with her wanton charm and dangerous smile.

  The wife knows her partner has tried to quit but is always lured back by the seductive scent of  tobacco. She envisions this temptress dancing on the terrace, calling her husband outside to indulge in the splendor, to become stimulated by a token tossed at his feet, that "blossom of embers", that treasured flower of menthol and nicotine.

  And as she reflects on this influence, she realizes no blame should be issued toward the man or no love lessened because of his need to smoke. It's intense, addictive and very much like the need she has for him. Her own affection is rooted in a sacred passion to belong to him, to feel the  hunger and dependency that deep emotion  can command.
In fact, she concludes that she has inhaled this desire for him and never wishes for its ache or joy to dissipate like the poignant echo of prayer bells fading in the twilight.  


© 2011, Wendy Howe. E-mail.