21 : Calla


Cloaked in the latest fashion
This is her true appearance
Which only the most discerning eye
Could ever get a glimpse of

Her heart so pure and genuine
The corolla of a delicate flower
Glows like a yellow spadix
Radiating the brightest corona

Surrounded by a single calyx
Strong and pure and white
Covering and protecting
Her gentle strength and beauty

Although cloaked in the latest fashion
This is her true appearance
Which only the most discerning eye
Could ever get a glimpse of


Why I wrote Calla:


Applying flora metaphors to individuals I care for is one of several themes I worked towards developing while tasking myself with creative writing assignments. Not only was gardening a hobby I always enjoyed, but it was another way to exert physical activity while outdoors and connecting with nature. Having not had a garden for years, instead of planting and cultivating, I wrote about flowers while thinking of those I loved. This is what prompted me to write Calla.

A few months before your birth was when I first set eyes on a Calla Lilly – not even a real live one, but photographs at an art gallery – I was in complete awe of the incredible elegance of this flower that exuded undeniable strength and beauty. After spending much time in the small room dedicated specifically to the exhibit of this flower – I thought that if the unborn child I was carrying was to be a girl – she would be named Calla.

After deciding to offer you these poems for your 22nd birthday, I found myself looking for ones I had already written that were more recent and relevant to your current age. Since having been disconnected through your teenage years – I had little memories to fall back on to apply to more mature themes, so I fell back on words and imagination, as well as the hope and the love I still have, and will always have for you.


How I wrote Calla:


Cloaked in the latest fashion
This is her true appearance
Which only the most discerning eye
Could ever get a glimpse of


When I set out with the purpose to write a poem based on the flower from which your name stems, I refreshed my memory by reading through several definitions of the word. I looked through baby names and the meaning behind it – which I hadn’t even done before you were born, or until now. I also read about the flower’s horticultural features, and where it originated from, but the dictionary is the book I fell back on the most when selecting words to develop this poem.

While doing this, I kept in mind the interest you have with fashion, and the keen sense of style you have. This is where the poem took its shape – by fashionably dressing up a beautiful young woman with a cloak akin to an exquisite Calla Lilly.

The first line of the poem is a statement indicating what a person, who has yet to be introduced, is wearing. While the second line might be perceived as a statement asserting this, it’s somewhat of a trickster. Easily interpreted as confirming the fashionable attire as being her true appearance, it’s meant as a preface to the following stanza describing this person’s personality, as opposed to what she’s wearing.

Although the words “cloak” and “appearance” might suggest a focus on the exterior of this person, the second line implies what goes unseen. And what is unseen, such as kindness, intelligence, compassion – is only privy to those closest to this person, due to her ability to cover it up fashionably. Only those with the most understanding, insight, and trust, could ever see or believe what this person is made of.


More on how I wrote Calla:


Her heart so pure and genuine
The corolla of a delicate flower
Glows like a yellow spadix
Radiating the brightest corona


The second stanza immediately brings forth the meaning of the poem – the heart of this person. Described through words belonging to a Calla Lilly, the image of the flower itself is brought to life.

While the description of the word corolla is meant as being the total of all the petals of a flower, in the poem, corolla points to how this person’s heart, soul, mind, character, and personality are the petals developing and surrounding her entirely, just as the single petal of the Calla Lilly does.

As for the flower’s yellow spadix, located at the very center of a white Calla Lilly, it’s meant to relate to this persons love, kindness, happiness, and how this radiates throughout to create a glow surrounding this person – much like the sun’s corona, which is said to be visible only during a total eclipse of the sun, but I have to admit that I’ve seen the radiating glow on many clear bright days.

The lines, gathered together in somewhat of a topsy-turvy fashion, are set up in a manner similar to the first stanza. Opening with an obvious statement, the reader is tossed into doubt as to what this poem really means. This is where a poem sometimes requires pondering, and might sometimes have to be read more than once to better understand it.


Surrounded by a single calyx
Strong and pure and white
Covering and protecting
Her gentle strength and beauty


The poem brings us back to the exterior of the flower by introducing the calyx – the part of a flower that protects it until it blooms, which develops into the single petal of the Calla Lilly.

This was meant to describe how this person learns to protect themselves through life, but can also be interpreted as a parent’s hope for a decent, good, honest person to join and be part of their child’s life to love, cherish, respect, and protect them from any harm.


Although cloaked in the latest fashion
This is her true appearance
Which only the most discerning eye
Could ever get a glimpse of


Whenever I read this poem, there always seems be a missing gap and the closing always seems to arrive too soon. I’ve yet to rework it or add any more to it, but perhaps that’s indicative of where this poem is, at this time of my life, as far as I’ve been privy to know it.


Drawing from the poem:


Started very recently and rushed to meet the deadline I set for myself to complete Becoming a Poem, the abstract rendition of Calla is a simple, elegant representation of the poem.

When drawing this image, I envisioned looking at a Calla Lilly from above. This led me to start at the very center, where its heart radiates, expands, and replicates itself into the larger outline with a solid white petal, gently surrounding it.


Thank you for inspiring me to create Calla


Calla

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