Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Honey Month, Day 20 (2/20/2011)

The link, it is up!

"Day 20 - Blackberry Honey (2)*

Colour: Thick, cloudy, creamy orange yellow

Smell: Sugared brambles and thorns.

Taste: Gentle, quiet; something crystallised. It does not taste of blackberries so far as I can tell; oh, maybe a little, there, but it's more honey than anything else."

*Amal offers no explanation of why there are 2 blackberry honeys, but consider that she was tasting a collection of honey sent to her by a friend. I assume, since the descriptions are different, that this is an entirely different blackberry honey from the last one.

Hmmm. Today's piece almost feels like two different poems. The first is a kinda sexy piece, mourning the loss of a lover, with honey and brambles as fairly potent metaphors. Sad, but, as I say, sexy and evocative.

The second poem is an interesting musing on Ophelia's drowning - like the earlier reevaluation of Goliath, this twists the story a little, and makes it a love story about Ophelia and the river. It's sweet, and sad, but a little hopeful.

Both poems are nice, but I don't really see how they fit together, beyond the fact that both address a sense of loss.

A note on what's going on here. Two years ago, Amal El-Mohtar began a month long exploration of a variety of honeys, tasting and describing each, and then writing a short piece of fiction, or a poem, or something of that nature which was inspired by the honey of the day. Last year, these posts were collected into a short book - more formal than a simple chapbook, perhaps - called The Honey Monthwhich I reviewed when it came out. My biggest problem, at that time, was that I ploughed through the book too quickly, and so I resolved to do a more careful reading of it at a later date. That later date is now - the posts were originally a February project, and so there are 28 honey days. This is now February, and I cannot think of a better time to slowly read poems and stories about honey. The material in quotation marks is the description of the day's honey, from the book (so that you get a good taste of Amal's lovely writing), what follows that is a brief thought about the piece of poetry or fiction of that day from yours truly.

In addition to my daily reviews, Amal has been re-running the original posts with what she is describing as "DVD Extras," some commentary on the piece for the day, some discussion of the differences between the original post and the finished piece in the book, and some delicious LJ Honey Month icons. The first of the re-runs is here, and I have been linking the appropriate post via the daily title, above, as the post becomes available. Amal is currently in England (because she is fabulous), and so her sense of what time it is and my sense of what time it is are somewhat askew. And that's ok.