TES Young poet;Poem;Candles by Ella Evans

14th May 1999 at 01:00
The wax is cascading down like lava flowing out of a volcano,

shimmering like the sun setting over the world,

whispering silently like the breeze,

swaying as though in a gusty wind, but never quite dying.

A waterfall of wax gathers and shoots down,

like a bird swooping down to catch its prey.

A grey wisp of smoke twists into different shapes and

makes patterns for a masterpiece on an invisible piece of paper.

Again the smoke rises like a kite rushing away

from the mix of colours below.

The flame downstairs is moving like an animal.

The colours swish to and fro,

the waves lapping on the beach.

They blend together making one flame of colours

like the angel's sword guarding its garden of colours.

The colours are orange as a goldfish with its tail flickering,

red as a rose with the petals fluttering in the evening wind,

yellow as a ripe banana ready to eat,

and, at the end, a blue like the ocean.

It burns hotter every minute,

as hot as a roary dragon's breath or a kettle

with boiling water smoking to the brim.

A strong wind blows the candle

and finally it dies as though it has gone to sleep.

ella evans

In this exuberant poem Ella Evans has been carried away by the simplest of images, which shows that it's not what you write about, but how you write it.

The richness of language and the abundance of ideas show a real poetic talent and intuition. The simpler des-criptive passages are nicely achieved, and roam from place to place, from thing to thing, from element to element. Many of the images strike me as true to the object observed, such as the "lava flowing out of a volcano" and "The flame downstairs... moving like an animal". Such a comparison shows a breadth of perception.

Yet it is the more original notions that give the poem an additional depth, lines such as the one about the smoke making "patterns for a masterpiece on an invisible piece of paper". The sensibility of the writer comes through the language, and the language evokes a kaleidoscope of ideas.

Eva Salzman

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