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Professional Journal Article - Rosebud Autumn 1998 - Beth Cramer
I chose "Rosebud" because it is a journal that contains writing and poetry. Both of the articles that I have selected from UTNE contained poems, therefore the Rosebud was an appropriate choice which caught my interest. The journal contains short fiction, poetry, art, excerpts from novels and features on great poets. The works in Rosebud are thought provoking and the images they produce have stayed with me.
I have read many poems, stories and essays from Rosebud. One poem was entitled " 3 Dogs In A Convertible" by John Lehman. Its a poem that begins with a man and his dogs driving down the road. They encounter a storm that eventually clears up. The last three lines state, "I feel so happy, I climb in back and let the Labrador drive. The author John Lehman has three dogs of his own and often writes about them. He claims that as a dog owner he sometimes envies his dogs because they are so eager and inquisitive. He says that if dogs could write, they would write poetry. I shared this poem with a cohort member, Ladd, and his response delighted me. After reading the poem, I asked him what he thought and he said, " Sometimes, in certain situations you just have to sit back and let the Labrador drive." I like to be in control of my environment and sometimes this need adds a lot of stress to my life. I think sometimes I need to sit in the passenger seat no matter how absurd the driver seems to be.
I read another poem that stays with me called "Artichoke Heart" by Julia Pearl. The title grabbed my attention because I love to eat artichokes. The poem is about a couple who live together. One morning one person began to sing. The other person was astounded because they were not aware after 13 weeks of living together that this person enjoyed singing. That new knowledge was like another layer of shield peeled away bringing them closer to each others artichoke hearts. I thought it was appropriate that Julia uses an Artichoke to help visualize and understand our intimate relationships. I have taught my children how to enjoy an artichoke. You begin by peeling the outside layers one at a time. Than you dip each leaf in olive oil and lemon juice garlic mixture. You slide the bottom of the leaf between your top and bottom teeth to taste the meat of the artichoke. Just a little taste at a time. Slowly you work your way toward the center, which is your reward for being so patient, the best part which is the artichoke heart. Relationships, like the process of eating and enjoying an artichoke, take time. Usually when you are not expecting it another leaf is peeled away revealing a little knowledge that brings you closer.
"3 Dog In A Convertible" and "Artichoke Heart" both help you take a deeper look at your life. After reading these poems, first, I remind myself, if possible, to take the passenger seat. For Example, when I am teaching Science and my students are not with me, it is sometimes helpful to step back and put one of my students in the driver seat. Amazingly, it grabs the attention of students that I had lost. Secondly, relationships, old or new , have many artichoke peels. They take time and patience and most importantly, you need to savor and enjoy them.
-- Anonymous, January 30, 1999