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November 03, 2005


Creeping Jenny

The mother you describe is definitely not universal. My mother will happily wear black with brown, stick her hands in her pockets, and go out hiking with her clashing black/tan dog. I guess I'll just have to put this down as "an interesting poem about people from compeltely alien worlds".


Thanks for posting the poem, Hugo! I'm honored that you like it, and expect I'll check back later today to see what sort of feedback people have posted...


context is king, and not having read any of the poet's other work, i'm trying to discern whether this is tongue-in-cheek or not. i'm hoping it is...

either way, though, black with brown is pretty unforgivable! i'm not a fashion stickler for much, but i am a stickler on that.

silver and gold, funnily enough, is one of the few things on which my mother and i disagree (she likes it, i don't).


Yes, Kate, I think I can say safely that the poem is playful... but how Rachel feels about silver and gold, I don't know! Feel free to weigh in, Rachel!

It's funny -- I'm okay with some blacks and browns together, like chocolote browns and black. What I will never do is mix navy and black. That's a far graver sin in my book.


My inclination is to take my usual writing-workshop tack, and to sit quietly here in the corner and learn from people's responses to the poem rather than diving into the discussion. :-) At least for a while, anyway; it's fun to see what people get out of a given poem.

That said, I posted an explanation of the story behind the poem here -- anyone who's interested in knowing more about what inspired it and what was going on for me as I wrote it is welcome to click over and read about it there.


oh no, hugo! chocolate brown and black is the fashion equivalent of nails on a blackboard! cease and desist immediately :)

you're right about the navy and black thing though, that is a grave offense as well.

i'm not sure i've ever seen all three combined in one outfit, but if i did i'd pass out cold. sorry that this is off the poetry topic...but i have a scarily knee-jerk reaction to this stuff :) don't even get me started on socks and sandals....


ok, and i just went and read rachel's story behind the poem - though i'm completely ignorant to psalms or their structure, i enjoy the idea of playing with established literary forms. so nice job there :)

i also don't think it's a bad thing to indulge in hearing author's explanations of their poems and/or why they wrote them. while you often hear about the pitfalls of doing so - what makes authors think they know what their own work means? once they've written it, they've given up license on dictating its meaning, etc. - and i see truth in that. but i still believe there's some value to an author's viewpoint. i think, in a way, you can't get at the whole picture of a poem without at least and understanding of why the author thinks he or she wrote it :)


great. thanks a lot everyone. i'm at my first day at a new job right now, and i just looked down to notice i'm wearing a light brown shirt, and everything else is black... why didn't i check hugoboy.typepad yesterday???

it looked good in the mirror this morning...

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