Thursday, June 7, 2018

Soil

Virginia is for Lovers
~David Martin


Today we have soil by Irène P. Mathieu, who shares, "Fun fact about that soil poem: it's dedicated to my partner and his country accent. Shoutout to #FarmvilleVA."


Irene Mathieu

My grandparents lived in Farmville so I've heard Farmville accents my whole life. I sent this poem to my father and uncle, whom I knew would appreciate it.


soil
by Irene Mathieu

the way you say soil
sounds like soul, as in

after we walked through the woods
my feet were covered in soul

when it rains
the soul turns to mud

the soul is made of decomposed
plant and animal matter;

edaphology is the study of the soul’s
influence on living things

while pedology is the study of how
soul is formed, its particular granularity.

you are rooted in a certain red patch
of soul that bled you and your

hundred cousins to life, a slow
warm river you call home.

maybe there is soul under everything,
even when we strike rock first.

the way you say soil you make
a poem out of every speck of dirt.

********

Whispers from the Ridge has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Kiesha!

18 comments:

Linda B said...

There are those words that when said aloud, mean "home", aren't there? I imagine you must have loved reading this poem connecting to your Farmville past, Tabatha, part of that "soul" like Mathieu.

Michelle Kogan said...

I love where this poem takes a turn and talks about the
"soul that bled you and your

hundred cousins to life, a slow
warm river you call home."
the soil and soul become one–rich soulful poem Tabatha, thanks!

Irene Latham said...

I love this soil as soul! I'm trying to hear it in my head... we have so many unique ways of pronouncing things here in the south... it does make one feel at home, doesn't it? Thank you for sharing, Tabatha! xo

Donna Smith said...

I love "the way you say soil you make
a poem out of every speck of dirt."
Beautiful!

Erin Mauger said...

Thanks for sharing this poem. I guess I'll chime in and say my favourite line was, "..after we walked through the woods / my feet were covered in soul" I can just imagine what that'd look like!

jama said...

Oh, that last stanza has such impact. Wonderful, thought provoking poem. Now I'll be saying "soil/soul" in my head all day. Always interesting to hear different regional accents. Len and I have this thing about how some people pronounce "oil" as "erl" every now and then. :)

Kiesha Shepard said...

Tabatha, this is one I want to reread over and over. I love the spirit and soul of this poem. Thanks for sharing this treasure with us!

Jane @ www.raincitylibrarian.ca said...

There are some accents that just seem to make every word poetry! And some accents just immediately transport you to a place and a time, taking you back to your childhood, or another memory, like a time machine.

Joyce Ray said...

Wow, Tabatha. The universe is offering what I need today. First Linda, then you, both sharing boost ideas for my next project. They're like affirmations! I love Mathieu's poem and marvel at the interchangeability of soil and soul in a lot of the phrases.

"after we walked through the woods
my feet were covered in soul" and

"maybe there is soul under everything,
even when we strike rock first."

Mary Lee said...

This reminds me of my favorite misunderstanding of southern pronunciations when I started my teaching career in Dallas at an inner city school. It was the word IRON, pronounced EARN.

Maybe I need to write that poem...

If
"the way you say soil you make
a poem out of every speck of dirt."
then maybe the same is true of the thing that makes cloth flat and the substance that's attracted to magnets!

Molly Hogan said...

Those ending two lines are fabulous! Thanks for sharing this poem!

Mitchell Linda said...

Oh, my. A stunning, thought provoking poem. The way we say things and the layer of meanings...i may never say s-oil again. It's soul...the truth of the ground. Beautiful.

Carol said...

You know those poems that you wish you had written? Well, this is definitely one of those for me. Like several others, I especially love the last two lines. I'm rereading BROWN GIRL DREAMING right now. I want to copy this poem and put it inside the book, because they would be perfect companion pieces for each other!

Diane Mayr said...

I love this, Tabatha. There are infinite connections to be made!

Rebecca Herzog said...

Oh, I LOVE this. So often that country accent can be the brunt of a joke. I love how beautiful this is. Thank you for sharing.

Heidi Mordhorst said...

So so so good--down home and outward bound scientific at the same time. Soul.

Thanks, Tabatha!

Catherine Flynn said...

So gorgeous! "A poem out of every speck of dirt" has to be one of the best lines ever. Thank you so much for sharing this, Tabatha!

Pop said...

I really did appreciate it, Tabatha. It did remind me a home (and it was a truly beautiful poem, too).

There were two colleges in/near Farmville, which brought in many other accents as well. It made for a very diverse linguistic experience!