Circle soap

Posted by on March 16, 2010 in Poetry | 10 comments


A plain looking thing
fat disk
of oil and lye
forced to sit and cure

something permanent
it may not have chosen
for itself

but holding it
between my palms
feels right
subtle thing

under warm water
bumpy rotation
awkward lather
it becomes ethereal.

by Brooke


  1. I love this Brooke. So simple but it invokes a nice tactile image. I like your lines “becoming something permanent it may not have chosen for itself”. It makes me reflect on who I am now. I suppose that what I have become is part something I have chosen, and parts of me are there because life came along and did it’s thing with me. I suppose it’s a combination of both. Me choosing things, intention, chance, and even the awkward lather and bumpiness of things that I could not control or did not intend. Both acting and being acted upon. I’m not sure how much of it is permanent. I like to think that I’m always growing and changing. Nice.

  2. Very good imagery and flow to the poem. I liked the part about “becoming something permanent it may not have chosen for itself” that could be generalized to a number of different levels (children, relationships,etc.) Good job.

  3. this is calm and beautiful.

  4. I’m a soapmaker, and I love this!

  5. This is one of my very favorite’s of yours, Brooke.

    My favorite parts: “subtle thing” Don’t know why, but I love that. And the last line. A perfect and thoughtful ending to a poem about an object we usually consider so mundane.

  6. I get so much joy out of soap, it’s kind of embarrassing to admit publicly. I love the texture, the lather, the scent, the slippery-clean way my hands feel afterwards.

    Making my own soap has been such a satisfying venture, too. Knowing exactly what good stuff is going in, choosing the colors and additives (like oatmeal or goat’s milk, etc), then pouring it into a mold and slicing it as it is cooling….Just thinking about it makes my hands hungry for the sensation again! :)

  7. I may not be terribly “on” in thinking this, but your poem gave me a fresh take on the sculptor/God analogy, but with lovely imagery.

  8. Awesome! Thank you!

  9. Thank you all for your comments. Rebecca, thank you for your thoughts. Chelsea & Jana, I love homemade soap. So much. You can make it for me anytime with goat milk or whatever. Caroline, “subtle thing” is also one of my favorite parts. And I don’t know why. Alisa, I think your interpretation has wonderful insight. I love the way poems allow for as many stories as there are readers, so in my book, there is not really one way to be “on” to a poem’s meaning.

  10. Beautiful, Brooke. I have been wanting to try my hand at making soap.

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