Sunday, February 9, 2020

Analysis of "Green Tea" by Dale Ritterbusch

Poem found here: "Green Tea" by Dale Ritterbusch

Below is Pan Long Ying Hao, the green tea that this poem is about:

I feel this poem is straight forward in meaning.  The green tea being brewed is a metaphor for how "you" wake up in the morning.  Everything in this poem depends on the understanding of comparative physical imagery.

But first, exposition, "There is this tea / I have sometimes, / Pan Long Ying Hao,"  The tone of the poem is casual, very conversational.  It's like I'm talking to a friend over breakfast and I asked about the tea and the speaker has this magically knowledge to pass down.

"so tightly curled / it looks like tiny roots / gnarled, a greenish-gray" what I like about these lines that it's not a metaphor.  This is literally what Pan Long Ying Hao looks like.  This type of description continues this casual conversation until:

When it steeps, it opens
the way you woke this morning,
stretching, your hands behind
your head, back arched,
toes pointing, a smile steeped
in ceremony, a celebration,
the reaching of your arms.

The act of unfurling is you.  The you that I see as jubilant when waking up.  Simple, right?  However, this makes me think of the speaker and the one being spoke to.  This feels really intimate and personal.  What type of person is the speaker observing to tell the way how he/she wakes up.  And what type of situation.

Does it matter though?  This poem is warm.

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