Taraxacum: Case Study
By Isabelle Sanderson
A controlled experiment on the nature of memory, romance, and dandelions.
Control: In summer, I picked two dandelions, handing you one, tucking the hair behind my ear, listening when you told me about the girl you liked. You blew on yours, seeds scattering and the stem lie limp in your hands till it dropped unceremoniously into a puddle. x = Expectation “Most specifically, the expression of Hera, the Greek goddess of marriage and womanhood, gives numerous insights into the expectations of an ideal wife and woman in this culture. We see that she should gain power from her beauty, be obedient to her husband, and not expect that in return from him.” Most specifically, in summer, I picked two dandelions, handing you one, tucking the hair behind my ear, the Greek goddess of marriage and womanhood listens when you tell me numerous insights into the expectations of the girl you liked: an ideal wife and woman in this culture. You blew on yours and we see that she should gain power from seeds scattering her beauty; be obedient to the stem that lies limp in your hands till it drops unceremoniously. x = Envy In summer, I picked two dandelions which smoked with bloody execution and handing you one, O valiant cousin, worthy gentleman tucks the hair behind my ear—too full o’ th’ milk of human kindness—listening when you told me all about the girl you liked. He unseam'd me from the nave to the chaps. You always blew on yours. My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical, seeds scattering to prick the sides of my intent, but only the stem lie limp in your hands: a walking shadow, a poor player till it dropp’d unceremoniously, and then is heard no more. x = Fulfillment “All/Proceed from the heart/And, in consequence/Enter between skin and skin/Do not meet/ each other; and/ Become contracted/ This they say nature has done/ Finding the ways/ between membrane and membrane/ To penetrate into the interior/ To spread out/ And turn back/ The remainder: superfluous” In summer, I picked two dandelions handing you one, And, in consequence Enter between skin and skin tucking the hair behind my ear and listening when you told me about the girl you liked. Do not meet each other; and Become contracted You blew on yours seeds scattering This they say nature has done and the stem lie limp in your hands Finding the ways between membrane and membrane till it dropped To penetrate into the interior unceremoniously into a puddle. The remainder: A puddle in summer: unceremonious. Two dandelions, the girl, the stem, you scattering. I dropped into a puddle in summer, the hair behind my ear lying limp in your hands.
The story of this poem began many years ago with the off-hand creation of another poem: “The Significance of Dandelions.” That poem, hastily written on a Post-it while sitting on a park bench in summer, was never published. However, it was a poem I returned to frequently and used as inspiration for other written work. This was the case when I wrote cut-and-shuffle poems—collages of seemingly unrelated pieces of writing—with my mentor Anna. When deciding what poems to use, I immediately thought back to that summer day and that Post-it. Like a surgeon, I methodically cut and stitched together elements of a thesis essay I wrote for my English class, lines from another poem of mine (“Anatomy 125”), and excerpts from William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Altogether, the poem started to reveal the many interpretations of one summer’s day.
Isabelle Sanderson is an avid hiker, frequent doodler and a lover of used books. While she enjoys writing in all forms, she has a special love for letter-writing and annotating her favorite books. When she is not writing, Isabelle can be found hosting climate education workshops, lobbying local legislators or tutoring elementary schoolers.