Written for:  dVerse Poets Pub – Meeting The Bar – Via Negativa  (posted by Bjorn)

“For Meet the Bar we sometimes work with new forms, at other times we work with one specific method or tool that we can use to make our writing better and more interesting.

Today I would like us to use negation in poetry.

Via Negativa, a term which originally comes from Apophatic Theology and says that the divine can only be approached in terms of saying what a perfect God is not.

For anything abstract or emotional you can define it with everything that it’s not. It can often be combined with examples of what it is.”

Consider for instance the first quartet of Pablo Neruda’s Sonnet 17:

“I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul….”

It can start the poem like in Pablo Neruda’s poem above, or end it like in e.e. cumming’s somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond:

“…nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands”

Here is my attempt:

No high heat here
nor spice involved
age matters not a whit.

No closet required here
nor space upon a wall
you do not read it.

In winter time
you may decide
not to have even a bit,

but on a summer day
if jingles are heard
order a banana split!


About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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22 Responses to Spooning

  1. rothpoetry says:

    Yes, a banana split for sure! When the “Goody Goody Man” comes down the street run to the curb!! Love it!


  2. Sherry says:

    This made me smile. Fun!


  3. I love the smile of a banana split in the end.


  4. Waltermarks says:

    Anytime is just great for ice cream. We all scream for ice cream, till our cholesterol, sugar and weight rise dramatically, lol 😬


  5. Frank Hubeny says:

    I would skip the banana split in winter as well.


  6. merrildsmith says:

    Fun–we were on the way home from an event and just stopped for ice cream! 🙂


  7. mhmp77 says:


    if jingles are heard
    order a banana split!

    Order the yummy of young days and rest awhile, yes, Sara, why not?



  8. lynn__ says:

    Delicious memories of that happy jingle! My childhood favorite was orange/vanilla “push-ups” but a banana split sounds great right now.


  9. I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! I always ordered the creamsicle. My son tells his kids when the jingle is playing, it means he’s out of ice cream. Didn’t take them long to figure out the fib…


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