the epistemology of roses

I believe bloom
and know of red
and have a passing acquaintance
with thorns

but there is more to this
being a rose
than what’s visible

and I know nothing
of what those roots touch

About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
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31 Responses to the epistemology of roses

  1. Profound – the roots of the rose haven’t yet been touched by thorns … what lies below the surface – ‘unsoiled’ has also felt no pain. (my 2 bobs) nice Sus.

  2. davidtrudel says:

    So few words
    To say so much
    Your verbal dexterity
    Is as precise as a gymnast
    Defying gravity
    With a flourish

  3. Trent Lewin says:

    Are you so sure of that? What makes you wonder Susan – and what makes you sure?

    • hee, hee–and so we move from epistemology to the root of the rose, which makes me say I have no ownership of wonder and nothing is sure–only that I am looking at a rose in a vase, so I think it is there. Unless I dreamed it.

      • Trent Lewin says:

        And so we transfer the traverse across the width of the pipe to measure the flow of human soul; and wonder becomes what we were and not what we are; and the flower grows. It grows and grows and grows. And what do we know? That it grows. And grows.

        We dreamed it. We stood aside of it. We were inside of it. We grew. And grew. And grew. And then we got here. That’s when we were sure. And surely certainty has something to say on the subject.

        • Trent, that is BEAUTIFUL. I have a feeling perhaps you sat yourself down to write?

          • Trent Lewin says:

            Or got drunk? Is there a difference? I have a hard time telling anymore. As long as we laugh. And as you say, dream. Peace, Susan, and a good poem. Peace.

            • Oh, whatever you did–go write, my buzzed northern friend, and I will enjoy the results. Glad you liked this.

              • Trent Lewin says:

                Very well. I appreciate good counsel. I am not sure of spelling at the moment. I see in blue an old lady throwing darts. There is a dart in my foot, so that is appropriate. And she bakes. And she is cordial. But why is she like that? Her child baffles her. And she is not sure of her friends. But when you are old, what choice do you have? What do you do? What do you talk about? Same questions we all have: “Where am I going? How much time do I have?” Even robots suffer. They expire. But they feel differently about it than we do, and that is the crux of the question, the question of why they might feel the need to do so, or feel the need to think so in the first place. Baffling. Here’s a cab. Here’s a wave, filled with water. The wave is dead! It lives on.

  4. Green Speck says:

    Your words say it all … magic yet again !!!

  5. jasmine calyx says:

    Oh my word, you are SO good! “a passing acquaintance with thorns” is brilliant. And your last two lines. This is short enough and sharp enough to cut open my arm and burrow in for later recall throughout the day. I’m really impressed with you.

    But try as I might to control my brain, I keep reading the title as “epesiotomy.” Sorry. 😉

  6. Jeremy Nathan Marks says:

    I really like the way those first two verses open this poem:

    I believe bloom
    and know of red

    Would you consider doing another version of this with the same meric/rhythmic footing as these first lines? I could see this going in a Tennyson/Burns direction.

    I say this not because I want to suggest that you make your words sound like someone else’s, but rather because I think this poem has a lot of potential and could be done in a number of ways. Any thoughts?

    • Oh, I so love this idea! Can you elaborate a bit?

    • This was inspired by Bernadette Mayer’s writing experiments, where she encouraged us to:

      Using phrases relating to one subject or idea, write about another,
      pushing metaphor and simile as far as you can. For example, use science
      terms to write about childhood or philosophic language to describe a shirt.

      So I tried to use philosophic language to describe a rose. I could also describe the rose via other disciplines, and really open this out in an unusual way.

  7. Your poems ought to be studied in a lit class. 🙂 I can imagine the fevered excitement and analysis. Well done

  8. Epistemology is the study of knowledge. By what conduit do we know what we know?
    ~Theodore Bikel

    Your short poems always make me happy and see such great progress in your writing. 🙂

  9. nelle says:

    Wanting so much more… perfect.

  10. Susan,
    I love your vibrant rose image.There is much to be unfolded between bud and bloom.

    • Thank you, Alice. It is an interesting exercise, to describe a thing using language from a different discipline–this is my attempt at describing a rose using philosophical terms.

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