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Wednesday, 8 May 2013

what does she know?



(Written for this week's picture prompt at The Mag, Mary Cassatt's Young Woman Picking the Fruit of Knowledge. )

Does she know
the nature of the fruit she picks?
Has she no inkling of
the consequences that she risks?
Is she an innocent,
a child of nature, one
reacting to the beauties all around?
Or does she satisfy some appetite,
a craving that will not be satisfied?
Is she dependent on the juice of knowledge
for her kicks?
Or is she simply hoarding data for
a rainy day, collecting facts
like sea shells or glass animals,
trivia perhaps for some pub quiz?

We are bedazzled by some beauty that we see,
but knowledge does not grow on trees,
demands acquaintance
with the tantalising thing
in all its forms;
some element of skill,
some process of the mind.
She may enjoy
her apple, quince or apricot,
but all she knows
is how the apple, quince and apricot compare.

Written for this week's picture prompt at The Mag, Mary Cassatt's Young Woman Picking the Fruit of Knowledge.

23 comments:

Leovi said...

Knowledge is our driving force!

Mary said...

So true about most things, I think....we can only know how they compare. Beauty is relative, as is taste.

izzy said...

If it is peach- it is the soft skin
and secondarily the flavor running down her chin!

Kelvin S.M. said...

...i read this as if you had the curiosity of Eve when she made that bite that changed completely everything... at first people know nothing of anything, of something... until we are feed with awareness... unfortunately, even if we are layered with a lot of awareness all around us... we are still tempted to do what we are not ought to do... well, we are humans --- capably incapable, normally abnormal.... great ponderings sir... smiles...

Brian Miller said...

interesting ont eh comparison there in the end...we do know things through comparison but what a deadly thing as well comparison is...it can def lead to some dangerous places....

anthonynorth said...

Yes, our knowledge is everything. Maybe we'll eventually get it right.

Tumblewords: said...

knowledge does not grow on trees - indeed! I liked, too, the hoarding of data for a pub quiz...

Helen said...

The questions/answers form works beautifully here ... I really enjoyed your poem!!!

Gerry Snape said...

collecting shells..as if somehow that could help me to acquire some hidden strength from having them ...like an icon left up in the soul area of the room.....as usual a wonderful poem Dave!

haricot said...

Your questions about what is innocent and how the tantalizing temptation occurs are resonant and lingering on.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

Knowledge..."acquaintance with the tantalising thing" how true. And the climax of a whole, as ever, powerful poem.

The Weaver of Grass said...

The line that jars with me Dave is the pub quiz line - other than that I think it is a superb effort.

Lydia said...

Such a wonderful poem, Dave. Your final lines actually gave me goosebumps. Very, very fine!

Strummed Words said...

Good point. She needs to get out there to experience the world...Tantalizing ideas.

sharplittlepencil.com said...

Knowledge is nothing without common sense. The whole Eve myth is so overrated, really!

Also, I can't look at this portrait and not think it looks like my father when he was about 18... in drag... Ha ha.. What Does "She" Know?" Amy

A Cuban In London said...

That last line was a killer. The whole poem is a beauty which is complemented by the image you chose. Many thanks, I thoroughly enjoyed this piece.

Greetings from London.

Dave King said...

Leovi
True.

Mary
It is true that we can only know things by comparing them, I think. Without black, would we know white?

izzy
is she he or is she she?

Kelvin
I like your thinking. Thanks for it.

Brian
Yes, take your point, it is also the souce of much evil, I agree.

anthonynorth
That's positive thinking, if ever I heard it!

Tumblewords
Many thanks for saying this. Very helpful.

Helen
Thanks Helen, that's very useful to know.

Gerry
Yes, this is very close to what I had in mind. Thanks for it.

haricot
Thanks for saying so.

Tommaso
Appreciate this, thank you for sharing your thoughts.

The Weaver of Grass
Just the thought that a lot of knowledge, even knowledge that is valued, is finally trivial.

Lydia
I am so grateful to you for saying so. Good to have your thoughts.

Strummed Words
Many thanks for the comment. Always good to have.

sharplittlepencil
I do agree with your opening remarks. Thanks for them.

A Cuban in London
As always, much thanks for a valued comment.


Ygraine said...

That last line sums up so well how we all to some degree overlook the importance of a situation, in favour of it's immediate gratification...:/
Splendidly written piece!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Lovely poem, Dave. The last four lines were super.

Tess Kincaid said...

Hording data for a rainy day...giggle...I do that...

liv2write2day said...

Wonderful reflection on this Cassatt painting and on the story of Eve and that primeval search for knowledge. Ah, the dangers we cannot eschew.

Dave King said...

Ygraine
Much thanks for this thought. It certainly is true that we all do it.

Rachna
As always, a valuable comment. Thank you for it.

Tess
Me too... glad you found it giggle-worthy!

live2write2day
'Tis true we cannot eschew them. We sometimes think we have, but they appear in another guise.


Robyn Greenhouse said...

Great questions. I wonder if we did know the answer of what our consequences would be, would that always stop us?