1. European Union compliance message: This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Please log in or sign up to comment.
    Dismiss Notice

3 silk saris

By Lavonne Westbrooks, Apr 4, 2017.

More work by Lavonne Westbrooks
  1. Lavonne Westbrooks

    Lavonne Westbrooks Save the Liver! Supporter Editor

    Arrive in a PO Box, USA.
    Labeled vintage – really just used.
    Still, they are beautiful.
    Captivating colors, images.
    So inexpensive. What need or want
    could prompt three women to sell their silk?

    Scissors poised

    I imagine their stories:
    one woman, widowed,
    no longer needs or wants beauty,
    one woman necessitous,
    and one just plain capricious.

    I cut

    anticipating the new skirt’s swirl
    around my daughter’s ankles.
     
  2. Tom Riordan

    Tom Riordan member Supporter

    You connect these five women beautifully, Lavonne. Very recombinant! Tom
     
  3. Michael Ashley

    Michael Ashley Fuckwit Extraordinaire Editor

    Lovely... how you capture the thoughts and feelings the opening of a box evokes. The use of stories requires a little more detail: you afford the first woman this but not the other two?

    ...Colon after stories?

    Mike
     
  4. Anna Ruiz

    Anna Ruiz I have the same religion as that tree over there. Supporter

    Lovely, Lavonne.  I'm sure your daughter will be beautiful.

    This is the stuff, the film *Paterson* is about.  Every day connections.  And so many many for me.
     
    Lavonne Westbrooks likes this.
  5. Wren Tuatha

    Wren Tuatha Well-Known Member

    Love it.
     
    Lavonne Westbrooks likes this.
  6. Lavonne Westbrooks

    Lavonne Westbrooks Save the Liver! Supporter Editor

    Thanks, Mike.
    What more is there to say about a penniless woman? or one who just wants something new?

    Pesky colons!
     
  7. Lavonne Westbrooks

    Lavonne Westbrooks Save the Liver! Supporter Editor

    I loved that movie Anna
     
  8. Tim J Brennan

    Tim J Brennan Well-Known Member

    Great line.  Everyone has a price, I guess. I'll do just about anything for a home made chocolate chip cookie.  

    Fun read. A sari is a beautiful garment.
     
    Lavonne Westbrooks likes this.
  9. Obed Ladiny

    Obed Ladiny Well-Known Member

    Very interesting poem, Lavonne!
     
    Lavonne Westbrooks likes this.
  10. kevin mchugh

    kevin mchugh Well-Known Member

    Very nice Lavonne. Of course the answer to the rhetorical question is, have you ever been to India?

    I love saris, and I have worn dhotis.
     
    Lavonne Westbrooks likes this.
  11. tiko lewis

    tiko lewis i'm invisible Supporter Editor

    a fine moment.

    tiko
     
    Lavonne Westbrooks likes this.
  12. Mary McCarthy

    Mary McCarthy Well-Known Member

    Lovely as the silks themselves. Re-purposed certainly transcends "used"---what an artist, or a mother, can do.
     
    Lavonne Westbrooks likes this.
  13. Dale Patterson

    Dale Patterson Well-Known Member

    I like that the remnants of other peoples lives are given new life for a child.
     
    Lavonne Westbrooks likes this.
  14. maggie flanagan-wilkie

    maggie flanagan-wilkie Well-Known Member Supporter

    Our Lavonne is all that and more, Mary.


    I have to disagree, Mike. I think the word choices: necessitous and capricious, touch the real world of the reader
    dragging faces into view that fit the descriptions without confining details.

    The words, "...one woman..." are the set-up, Mike.

    Well done, el vee!!!!!!!!!

    I imagine their stories:
    one woman, widowed,
    no longer needs or wants beauty,
    one woman necessitous,
    and one just plain capricious.
     
  15. Neli

    Neli Member

    ri

    I like this poem. The second and third stanzas are the strongest, illminating how clothing holds the energy of the wearer, the stories of the women. The "Scissors poised" is powerful because the narrator is about to cut up what was once the possession of another person, especially when the wearer was a woman, but also perhaps reveal something. I think the cinematic "cut" to the daughter's skirt accentuates both the new stories the sari will tell and the stories that have been muted by time and a new owner. I sew and there are so many things to say about cloth and clothes and clothing construction. The first stanza did not measure up for me. (I keep using sewing terms!) I think there might be a better way to lead into these stories. "Vintage silk, shades of _________, (maybe the actual price, or where they came from?). It's also a bit awkward. "They arrive"? I do think the fact that they are inexpensive is important.
     
  16. Lance Rocks

    Lance Rocks Never Force Supporter Editor

    Three audiences for poetry: those who read it; those who listen to it; those who watch it performed. IMHO.
     
  17. Anna Ruiz

    Anna Ruiz I have the same religion as that tree over there. Supporter

    How wonderful is it when a poem can be & do all three?
     
  18. Lavonne Westbrooks

    Lavonne Westbrooks Save the Liver! Supporter Editor

    Thank you for the feature!
     
  19. TrishSaunders

    TrishSaunders Member Supporter Editor

    Very fine poem, Lavonne. I'm suggesting one minor edit on:

    Could prompt three women to sell their silk? ... I don't see the need to capitalize "c" on Could.
     
  20. Ton Romus

    Ton Romus Well-Known Member Supporter

    The "story" aspect is always a winner IMO.

    Enjoyed.
     
    Lavonne Westbrooks likes this.
  21. Lavonne Westbrooks

    Lavonne Westbrooks Save the Liver! Supporter Editor

    Thank you and thanks for the catch!
     
  22. Jay Gandhi

    Jay Gandhi Work in progress poet Supporter

    A pleasant poem. Enjoyed the read. Thanks for posting. Saris are always fascinating. My mom has a few silk saris as well :)
    Goes without saying she looks pretty when she wears them :)
     
  23. Neli

    Neli Member

    Since nobody else is going to make this comment, I will because I can. From a cultural standpoint, there is an element of appropriation here. I say that because while there is a respect for the women who owned the saris, there is no acknowledgement of the culture from which they come and that seems really important. The buyer is white. The original owner was brown. Maybe I've been, by necessity, so "woke" all my life and as a person of color in America, that I can't help but see that.  It's something to take into account when one writes  or comments on a culture not one's own. Native Americans, African Americans, Latinas, see people wearing our heritage without knowing the cultural price of living in that skin. It's still a lovely poem. Sorry, folks. Gotta say what I gotta say.
     
  24. TrishSaunders

    TrishSaunders Member Supporter Editor

    Of course you should say what you gotta say.
     
  25. Michael Ashley

    Michael Ashley Fuckwit Extraordinaire Editor

    I think the piece makes its strongest point in highlighting a certain ignorance.
     
  26. Neli

    Neli Member

    Perhaps. That is another way to look at it.
     
  27. maggie flanagan-wilkie

    maggie flanagan-wilkie Well-Known Member Supporter

    Neli,
    I'm fascinated that you can tell from the poem, the buyer of the material is white.
    My impression of the poem is it's a woman's poem, cultural understanding and respect being shown in this line:

    What need or want
    could prompt three women to sell their silk?


    And here: 3 silk saris.
    The reference to brown women is immediately voiced in the title:

    You can't get more a more specific invitation into a poem than this;
    it's a title doing what it's supposed to do: giving the passer-by a reason for reading on.

    The poem also speaks to N's imagining a set of circumstances for each of the women who sold her silk.
    These imaginings come from possible life experiences as a woman N might have had, and as an observer of other women in her life.
    And I believe the adjectives applied to each of these women indicates N has a deeper understanding of the present day culture of women in India than most readers of the poem would have.

    Culture and respect can be voiced without being overt.

    Maggie
     
  28. TrishSaunders

    TrishSaunders Member Supporter Editor

    I know the kind of person Lavonne is! :)

    I'm glad you raised your voice, Neli.
    What I took was a narrator who felt some sadness in purchasing intimate beautiful garments and wondered...albeit briefly...what brought the women to sell them?
    But ultimately, they were already commoditized by the choice to put them online for sale.
    The narrator bought them and thus, presumably, abled the women who sold them to use the money.
    If they were appropriated, the sellers enabled their appropriation. They were placed for sale. And purchased.
     
  29. Lavonne Westbrooks

    Lavonne Westbrooks Save the Liver! Supporter Editor

    I identify as white because my culture assumes I am white. Just as you assumed. I am mostly Native American. I acknowledged in the poem that the clothing was beautiful,  and that I was hesitant to change them by cutting them. 'Arrive' is the word that acknowledges they come from another culture.
    I think your (admitted) personal agenda gets in the way of reading the deeper meaning of the poem. BUT all of us see a poem from our own perspective and that is as it should be.

    That was exactly my point.

    Additionally, I invite all members here whose cultures include the wearing of sari to please comment as to whether you find anything offensive, or if I have, in any way, disparaged, or ignored some important aspect of the culture. I am very interested to know as I am always open to learning something new.
     
    TrishSaunders likes this.
  30. Michael Ashley

    Michael Ashley Fuckwit Extraordinaire Editor

    I didn't find it offensive. But I don't wear saris either or come from a culture that does.