Sunday, February 23, 2014

Review of "On Arranging a Bowl of Violets" by Grace Hazard Conkling

"On Arranging a Bowl of Violets" by Grace Hazard Conkling was offered by Poets.org's Poem-A-Day on February 23, 2014.  A link to the poem may found here:  http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/23894?utm_source=PAD%3A+On+Arranging+a+Bowl+of+Violets+by+Grace+Hazard+Conkling&utm_campaign=poemaday_022314&utm_medium=email.

Grace Hazard Conkling (1878 - 1958) taught at Smith College, which now awards a poetry residency in her name.  She was the author of several books of poetry.  Additional biographical information may be found here:  http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/grace-hazard-conkling.

The poem is a variation on the traditional ballad form.  It is presented in two quatrains, with six feet per line, and a rhyme scheme of abab baba.

The first stanza recalls the pleasure of viewing violets that are growing outdoors in spring.  Arranging them in November brings fond memories to the speaker, presumably the poet.  In the second stanza, the second person singular appears to refer to the violets themselves--an unusual use of personification.

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