Friday, July 8, 2011

FIREBALL: An Original Poem

Last year, I wrote a post titled How Sweet It Is!: A Poetry Tale. In that post, I told about how Grace Lin and I had come up with an idea for me to write a collection of poems about candy. I decided the collection, tentatively titled Sweet Dreams, should take readers through a year with sweets. As I wrote previously: “…there are poems about a heart-shaped box of chocolates for Valentine's Day, marshmallow chicks for Easter, toasting marshmallows for summer, licorice for Halloween, chocolate coins for Hanukkah and Christmas.”

I’ve posted a number of the poems from Sweet Dreams at Wild Rose Reader in the past. I think it’s unlikely that a publisher would be interested in publishing a collection all about candy when there is such concern these days about childhood obesity—so I’m not sure that I’ll ever submit the manuscript to an editor.

I decided to post one of the “summer sweets” poems from the collection today. I thought Fireball would be perfect for the month of July.

by Elaine Magliaro

I pop the red orb
into my mouth.
I savor the flavor
of the setting sun.
Then fireworks explode,
Searing my taste buds.
My tongue begs for help.
My eyes water
to put out the flames,
cool the heat.
At last,
the fiery sphere dissolves,
leaving behind
a scarlet trail.


The Poetry Friday Roundup is at Wild Rose Reader today.


laurasalas said...

This is fabulous, Elaine! I especially love:

I savor the flavor
of the setting sun.

I also really love the watering eyes acting like a fire extinguisher. That's awesome.

That's a good point about the publishing concerns, but, gosh, if you have many already written, and if they're all as wonderful as this one (and I suspect they are), you have to at least try, right? Think how well it would sell in specialty candy shops!

Robyn Hood Black said...

I could TASTE that Fireball, Elaine - thanks for waking me up on a Friday morning!

Jeannine Atkins said...

There's so much I love about this fiery poem. I do sadly agree you might be right that it would be tough to place. For goodness sake, I just heard that there is no longer the Cookie Monster, but he has been replaced by something like the carrot monster. Um....

Heidi Mordhorst said...

Really great, really tasty, really saleable! Photo excellent too--a nice idea for illustration of such a collection, nonfictionalizes it.

I cannot tell you (perhaps you know) how often in poetry workshops with kids, I ask those who are stuck about what to write about, "Well, what do you really love?" The answer is CANDY 75% of the time. And with a new appreciation for healthy eating, candy is going to become an actual treat once again, rather than a daily food group. My word verif is

Carol said...

Elaine! I love this poem! Some of my best summer memories involve bike trips to the drug store, where you could get a whole bag of candy for a quarter! Lemonheads, those little buttons that you ate off the sheet of long paper, candy necklaces that you nibble until eventually there was just a wet string around your neck- and yes, fireballs (which I never actually liked because they were way too hot in your mouth)! Makes me sad that there is not a place for this book, because I think kids would love it!

Anonymous said...

When I read the title i wasn't sure what it was about, but that was unexpected. Love the poem...does seem like a hot fireball.

Karen Edmisten said...

I'm sorry, I'm confused ... do you mean to tell me there are other kinds of candy besides chocolate? I'm stunned. You're actually making me want to try something different here ....

Love the scarlet trail line.

Katie said...

Oh, this is fantastic. I had a second grade teacher who handed out fireballs as rewards when I was a kid, and you took me right back to her classroom and the exact way those candies felt in my mouth. I love that opening line - "red orb" is such a great description. And the thought of a tongue that
"begs for help" - such good stuff!

Thanks for sharing this, and for hosting this week!

david elzey said...

oh, this so makes me want to return to the tiny mini mart of my youth. i would go in with the money i'd "earned" turning in bottles for the deposits and buying every "hot" candy i could.

they weren't just a freball, they were ATOMIC fireballs!

and that tell-tale scarlet trail...

nicely done

Sara said...

This makes me miss Pop Rocks. And Sugar Babies. And salt-water taffy. Candy is so sure of its solitary purpose---FUN.

Mary Lee said...

I prefer the sticky ring around my neck from a candy necklace (left on while I ran through the sprinkler in the back yard in the picture in my post...the same sprinkler that can also be found in Julie's poem) to the burn of an Atomic Fireball. Those things leave BLISTERS in my mouth!!

Rebecca Davis said...

I, too, love this poem. I can taste the fiery ball in my mouth as I read. Perfect indeed for July.