Condensing a poem…


No rose – my gift tells
Love’s power, passion and pain –
A truthful onion.

Challenged by readwritepoem, I have tried to condense a poem that I love (Carol Ann Duffy’s valentine) into that most compact format, the haiku. A challenging exercise, which loses a lot of the qualities of the original in the process, but it did make me focus on that poem in a new way.

Onion heart, originally uploaded by Big.Col.


9 responses to “Condensing a poem…

  1. Cool photo! I’ll have to read the original poem to see how you’ve changed it.

  2. I’m glad to have been introduced to Duffy’s poem and yours. You really do condense the sense of the original. This must have been difficult.

  3. The onion is a symbol for truthful essence. I have used it as a symbolic image addition to a portrait painting. (See symbolic portraits at
    shall have to check out the poenm you referenced. G

  4. No easy thing to condense the original poem to a haiku – you did it rather effectively. G

  5. I love that last line. How much did you have to change? I guess I should follow the link to see the original…

  6. I know the original poem quite well and I like how you’ve condensed it.

  7. I love the original poem… it works on so many levels, some of which were inevitably lost in the condensation into a haiku. But it really made me focus on what I took from this poem – the honesty about the power of love, for good and bad, rather than its fluffiness and romance.

  8. I think you condensed the meaning and essence of that poem into your haiku very well. Awesome.


  9. I just love the condensing of a longer piece int o haiku. What a perfect pairing of image and words here! Love the image of the “onion Valentine.”

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