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Submitted on
July 12, 2012
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Exhale, Amaryllis

Journal Entry: Thu Jul 12, 2012, 8:04 PM

Mid-summer heatwave,
I push through humid air,
like dreams of swimming, graceful,
through the streets. 

Chest aching, I
inhale heavy, tangible air
thick with scent of summer's bounty.
Honeysuckle vines tangle in my lungs, 
perfume my breath.
My sighs exhale nectar
past my lips;
words glint in sunlight.

Berry brambles twist into my veins,
thorns prick for blood from inside-out;
honey-suckle oxidized breath,
painting white blossoms red:

My heart was a pure-white bloom once,
but I inhaled arrows of golden sunlight
and bled forth Amaryllis.

This one just kind of tumbled out of me. It's so humid here that the air really is thick and tangible and heavy. Some days it smells like honeysuckle, and when I inhale it, it's kind of amazing. I thought about that scent tangling inside my lungs and this is the result. Because I think in poetry and when I'm lucky, some of it is good.

Also, of course, the last three lines are a reference to the lore of the Amaryllis flower.

In Greek mythology, Amaryllis was a shepherdess who loved Alteo, a shepherd with Hercules' strength and Apollo's beauty. However, Alteo only loved flowers. He'd often said that he would only love a girl who bought him a new flower. So, on the advice of the Delphi Oracle, Amaryllis dressed in maiden's white and appeared at Alteo's door for 30 nights, each time piercing her heart with a golden arrow. When Alteo finally opened his door, he found a crimson flower, sprung from the blood of Amaryllis's heart.

Hope you like this. Please give me your thoughts. What do you think the metaphorical significance of the imagery is? Because I haven't figured it all out yet, myself. I tend to write poetry with lots of meanings that I don't immediately identify. It's kind of fun finding the meaning later, though. Anyway, enjoy. :heart:

This is my mother, :iconmblameworthy:'s interpretation, and I found it so lovely I have to quote it here: Julia, you are acting as Goddess, Gaia. She breathes in the thick air, takes it into her Body, and there flowers and brambles grow, using your body and blood to sustain their growth. You have drawn Her down. When Mortal women take on the role of Goddess, they often die, usually for Amaryllis...

Submitted to the :iconrawem0tion: prompt: So Real it's Surreal
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I will take this stanza by stanza. Let me say that this is a beautiful piece and brings images to mind that make me not only smile but cause my skin to flush and my mind to imagine my nose is being enticed by beautiful things not present in my office.

The first stanza has me envisioning a woman walking through the blistering heat, seat pouring off her, but not caring. She is just strolling along like it is a beautifully temperate day.

In the second stanza the woman stops before an abandoned park, empty due to the heat and pending construction. She breathes in what is left of the vegetation, smiling because she smells the smells of something wonderful out of something quickly becoming ugly.

The third stanza tells me that the woman is wearing a simple white dress or shift and she pushes her way into the vegetation finding beauty even in the thorns that prick her flesh leaving red blossoming on her pure white shift that is soaked with sweat and smells of the sweet scents of honey-suckle, which is pressed into her lungs and rests heavily in her nose. I imagine the smell of roses here as well, but I am not sure why.

The last stanza fits, but only barely. I would say the woman falls down in the vegetation and flowers bloom from her quickly forming blood spots.
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Hello LadyofGaerdon, :wave:

I am a little intimidated to critique one so talented as yourself, and I am still quite new to the commenting-thing in general, but here goes nothing....

What prompted me to critique this piece in general is the symbolism that you used, both mythical and real.
I lived for two years in a place which was either very hot and dry or very hot and humid, so I can really relate to this piece!

The first stanza is very grounded in reality. You tell us what is happening, who it is happening to and where, and you do this very well, IMHO.

I would make a teensy suggestion from an amateur: less commas. The humid heatwaves of my experience lasted 4 months at a minimum and were fluid and unbroken, and less pauses would emphasise that.

The second stanza shows us how the narrator feels. This is rich with meaning and vivid with symbols, but it is still clear that reality prevails. Again, perhaps more fluidity- less commas, no broken lines- like a continuous sweet perfumed breath.

Third stanza: no longer in reality. Talking visualisations only; the narrator has lead us into her emotions. I was a little confused as to why she should feel the way she does; I am not educated in the classics and perhaps my own ignorance has let me down?

Last stanza: :heart: Beautiful writing! The penny clicked for me: Amaryllis indeed!

As to the metaphorical imagery: a comment on love and relationships, perhaps? Where I lived previously, there was no honeysuckle but plenty of jasmine and to this day, certain emotions are clouded in jasmine scent and heavy with the taste of humid air which, as anyone who has experienced it will know, can be so thick you can eat it.

Thank you for this amazing work! And please thank your mother for her own slice of beautiful poetry... and for showing us the true beauty of a proud, understanding and supportive mum!
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Riorlyne Featured By Owner May 4, 2014   Writer
This is just beautiful. :heart:
UntamedUnwanted Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
This beautiful piece was featured here:…!
ArthurCrow Featured By Owner May 28, 2013  Professional Writer
Totally enjoyed the flow and mood of this sweet scented scribe.. good word choices and well woven together.

LadyofGaerdon Featured By Owner May 28, 2013  Professional Writer
Thank you so much! :heart:
OfOneSoul Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I understand how this piece could have rolled out of you. It is usually the pieces that come naturally that are the most powerful. The flow in this is so smooth and beautiful, it rolled off my tongue as I read it aloud. Your imagery and description was immense and I thoroughly enjoyed the wave of colors that swam through my mind as I read this. Wonderful work. :faint:
LadyofGaerdon Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012  Professional Writer
You are so kind. Thank you! :heart:
CrematedMan Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2012  Student Writer
It's poems like these that inspire me to plow through the hundreds of other lit deviations to find gems like these. Love it! :+fav:
LadyofGaerdon Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2012  Professional Writer
Aww thank you so much!
ALLsoLiT Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2012  Professional Writer
nice. very nice.
LadyofGaerdon Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2012  Professional Writer
Thanks so much! :)
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