Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Rita Dove: Flirtation

After all, there’s no need
to say anything

at first. An orange, peeled
and quartered, flares

like a tulip on a Wedgwood plate
Anything can happen.

Outside the sun
has rolled up her rugs

and night strewn salt
across the sky. My heart

is humming a tune
I haven’t heard in years!

Quiet’s cool flesh—
let’s sniff and eat it.

There are ways
to make of the moment

a topiary
so the pleasure’s in

walking through.


 Through out this poem vivid imagery of nature is used to define the action of flirting. Rita Dove describes "an orange, peeled and quartered" as a visual for a new attraction between two individuals. The charm that draws them together is compared to something fun, fresh, and natural that is captured through the peeling and slicing of an orange. At the end of line 4, the speaker begins to compare an ideal relationship that "flares like a tulip on a Wedgwood plate." Their hope for this potential relationship is expressed as a tulip that will naturally flare up. They mention a Wedgwood plate, which is English china, giving the illusion of elegance and exclusion in this new bond because they believe "anything can happen." Later the speaker writes about entering into the night as the sun sets with the "strewn salt across the sky." The salt is a metaphor for stars sprinkled across the night sky, making the speaker's heart burst out into song because of this rare but whimsical feeling. In the last three couplets, the speaker reveals that you, the reader, can make the best out of any moment as long as you mold that instant into what makes your happy. 

The tone for this poem is romantic and optimistic. The romance is shown threw her charm and her optimistic ways are shown threw the hope for a relationship. Its obvious that the theme of this poem is flirting with someone or seeking interest in someone. 

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