I want to point out two things in today's post. The first is Connemara Wadsworth's excellent poem: "Cows in the Apples" from Lily Poetry Review, which you can read by clicking the pic above.
The second is why this poem is so excellent. Of course, as usual, space prevents me from doing more than grazing the highlights. This time, I'm not even going to try to do that. Instead, I want to focus on one aspect of the poem: adjectives.
Typically, adjectives ruin a poem. Or threaten to. In this case, like an experienced lion-tamer, Wadsworth makes perennial poem-killers like: "perfumed," "angry," "sweet," and "wet" jump through flaming hoops of originality. How does she do this?
First, she hazards an original conceit: breakaway, rebel cows. Second, she drops a surprise adjective: "obedient" in the first line and then proceeds to work against this strong word for the rest of the poem.
Wadsworth also bundles each of the potentially banal adjectives with another poetic device. For "perfumed," she uses an alliterative connection to a strong verb "plant." For "angry," she couples the word with the unexpected "bees" which is, of course, a bit of anthropomorphizing.
Finally, with "sweet" and "wet," she chooses to slant rhyme them in the closing line -- a line so well executed it should be quoted, along with its accompanying stanza:
before they swagger
down the road, happy
drunks licking bits
of sweet apple off wet lips.
In general, the rule of murdering your adjectives is a good one. If, however, you can do tricks like this, then you are free to color with even the shortest of crayons.