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Limelight

03 Apr

On Saturday the writing prompt at NaPoWriMo included a Paris Review interview of Kay Ryan. In it I discovered that she enjoys using clichés as inspiration:

I often find myself thinking in clichés. I’ll urge myself on with various bromides and chasten myself with others. When I want to write they’re one way to start thinking because they’re so metaphorically rich. For instance, take the word limelight, or being in the limelight—not really a cliché but a cherished idiom. Before electric light, they heated lime, or calcium oxide, to create incandescence for stage lights. In my poem, “Lime Light,” the limelight comes from a bowl of limes. It’s ridiculous, but it’s not nothing, not just a joke. It’s thinking about how limelight doesn’t work very well. You can’t do anything by limelight. – Kay Ryan (entire interview…)

It reminded me that I have a such a poem. Today it gets its place in the limelight…

Clematis blossom in sunlight

Clematis blossom in the spotlight of the sun (Photo © 2014 by V. Nesdoly)

Limelight

I am in the limelight
not the head,  red,
blue or black light
but the light produced by a flame
of mixed gases
directed at a cylinder of lime
this being not avocado or sage
kelly, chartreuse or pea
but egg-shell white
with a lens that concentrates
that light onto me
guaranteed to turn you
lime with envy.

© 2017 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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Prompt – Inspiration

This word-play poem  began with the prompt: “Take a dead metaphor and get specific with it in a poem.” It took off when I did a little research into limelight, which Wikipedia describes as:

An intense illumination is created when an oxyhydrogen flame is directed at a cylinder of quicklime (calcium oxide),[2] which can be heated to 2,572 °C (4,662 °F) before melting. … Although it has long since been replaced by electric lighting, the term has nonetheless survived, as someone in the public eye is still said to be “in the limelight.”

~*~*~*~*~

VintagePADThis April I’m celebrating National Poetry Month by posting some not-as-yet published poems from my files, along with what inspired them. If the prompt inspires you to write a poem of your own, you’re welcome to share it in comments. Whether you write or not, thanks so much for dropping by!

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Posted by on April 3, 2017 in Light, Objects

 

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