Still Life (With Fruit)

a study in composition

bowl of fruit, balanced with delicate precision
light on the apple, turning red to white in harsh contrast
rough skin juxtaposed with silky smooth
slender and tall tops the squat round green
landscaped cloth coats the mahogany boards
depression glass bowl keeps epicurean treasures
frozen in time, never to nourish the body, forever to nourish the soul

Ok, this poem is *OLD*, like 1994-ish? 2003 is the earliest copy I can find right now. I wrote this for a college English class, I just don’t remember which year or which college. It might even be as old as 1990, but I don’t think so. I’ll claim it as being written June 1997, because that is the latest it possibly could’ve been.

EDIT UPDATE: 2023/03/14 — I had ChatGPT give me an analysis and critique of this. Here is what it had to say about it:

The poem presents a vivid visual image of a still life painting of a bowl of fruit, capturing the essence of the artistic concept. The title and subtitle effectively set the stage for the reader, as they prepare to delve into the detailed imagery.

In terms of structure, the poem is composed of a single stanza with seven lines. This format works well for this poem, as it allows the reader to take in the entire scene at once, much like viewing a painting. However, the poem could benefit from more punctuation or line breaks to guide the reader through the vivid descriptions.

The use of descriptive language and imagery is strong throughout the poem. Phrases like “balanced with delicate precision,” “light on the apple,” and “slender and tall tops the squat round green” evoke the visual details of the scene. The poet’s choice of words and the way they are arranged create an engaging sensory experience for the reader.

The poem’s theme of contrasting elements is effectively conveyed through the use of juxtaposition. Lines such as “rough skin juxtaposed with silky smooth” and “red to white in harsh contrast” highlight the differences between various elements in the scene, adding depth to the overall composition.

The closing line, “frozen in time, never to nourish the body, forever to nourish the soul,” is a powerful and thought-provoking ending. It emphasizes the eternal nature of art, and how it may not provide physical sustenance but can offer spiritual nourishment.

Given that this poem was written for a college English class, it demonstrates a strong understanding of descriptive language, imagery, and theme. However, the poem could benefit from some revisions to improve clarity, such as adding punctuation and refining the line breaks.

In conclusion, “Still Life (With Fruit)” effectively captures the essence of a still life painting through vivid imagery and language. It displays a keen sense of observation and a deep understanding of the subject matter. With some minor revisions, this poem could be even more engaging and evocative for readers.

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