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Hand in Glove

by didau 

Posted: 22 May 2010
Word Count: 85
Summary: My first upload in seven (!) years. A sort of love poem. I think
Related Works: Absense • Breakfast in Bed • Compulsion • Gazeteer of Old Ways and New • Limerick • Painting • Pale Fire • Piracy • Predictor • Rewritten • Sharkskin Shoes • The Ballad of Lefty and Ned • The Man With A Lemon For A Head • The Tide • There`s Only So Much I Can Take • You Are Ash In My Mouth • 

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If you were a glove,
I would pick at your stitches
flexing my hand inside you
to feel how well you fit.

And if you were made of leather,
I would be a tannery.
You would turn the sharp stench of urine into
something smooth and useful.

If you were made of rubber,
I would wear you to perform
delicate operations.
And to wash up.

But if you were woollen,
ah, there would be a glove.
Although I would not wear you
to make snowballs.

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Comments by other Members

James Graham at 19:14 on 24 May 2010  Report this post
There are so many love poems, going all the way back to Catullus and Sappho, that itís hard to be original. This is a bold idea though, to make comparisons with articles of clothing and the stuff theyíre made of, and to work this into a poem that has a recurring pattern. I like the way you return to the glove at the end - a different glove, a better one. You have a very good idea of how to end a poem like this - surprise and delight the reader:

I would not wear you
to make snowballs.

Only the second verse boggles my mind a bit, and I donít really think it works. If she were made of leather, she would already be tanned, and wouldnít need to be put through the process. She would have to be made of untreated calf-hide or whatever, that hadnít yet seen a pail of urine. Then the poemís speaker could act as a tannery. In the other three verses youíve made the idea very convincing, but for me this one misses the mark. I feel it should say something like ĎIf you were made of leather,/ I would wear you for dancing...í Something much simpler.

But if youíre happy with the second verse, feel free to defend it. Iím only one reader, and others may have no misgivings about it at all.


didau at 20:25 on 24 May 2010  Report this post
Ok - I hadn't thought through about the process of making leather.

What I was after was a disorientating juxtaposition and the fact that it "boggled your mind" is positive - even if you didn't mean it in a good way. I do like it and certainly don't want to abandon it completely, but will ponder now it might be rephrased.

Thanks, David

James Graham at 10:39 on 26 May 2010  Report this post
David, I keep coming back to this and I wonder if just replacing 'leather' with 'hide' would be all the repair it needs? I understand the effect you're looking for here. My mind is boggling in a more exciting way now.

V`yonne at 15:16 on 26 May 2010  Report this post
I would only suggest more variation in the first lines and
And if you were leather,

would do it.

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