Wednesday, November 29, 2017

BITTERSWEET

Susan has chosen bittersweet as the
theme for this week’s Midweek Motif.
The word conjures rambling country
roads edged by fencerows adorned
by a vine called bittersweet.
Submitted to Poets United Midweek Motif
November 29, 2017
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While to most of us bittersweet means a melding of pain and pleasure, in the hills of Brown County in southern Indiana, home to the author, James Alexander Thom, and the singer, John Mellencamp, a vine called bittersweet can be found growing along the fences of the rambling rural roads.   Named bittersweet because, on the one hand, it is quite invasive and has been known to kill trees by wrapping around them so tightly the trees are strangled (called girdling by arborists); yet on the other hand during the Fall season the deep yellow of the berries bursts to reveal an orange jewel, while the foliage changes to a beautiful yellow and fencerows adorned with bittersweet become glorious to see.   Beloved by the residents of the area, it is often used for making autumn wreaths and decorations.   Vermont folklore tells us it was believed the root of the bittersweet provided protection against evil witches and malevolent magic.   Perhaps so.  Brown County is known for its log cabins and rural atmosphere, and it is difficult to believe malevolent magic lurks in those beautiful hills.

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11 comments:

  1. A lovely write about that most beautiful vine!

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  2. I would admire the beauty. Intriguing legend behind it, the protection against malevolent spirits.........I enjoyed this, Bev.

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  3. Wow...good to know Bev. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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  4. I imagine that it does. My sister lives in Evansville, In. So I pass through your beautiful state a couple times a year. That is pretty cool. I knew of the vine, but did not know that about it.

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  5. Bittersweet has a lot going for it, and you capture it all. I can see it intrigues you as much as it does me, and you too have known it from childhood. Is this meant to be part of a haibun, or simply a prose poem?

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  6. A tale well told. Luv the aspects if legend adds so much spunk to the glorious orange berry

    Thanks for droppibg by my blog Bev

    Muchđź’–love

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  7. So glad to learn something new Bev. It's no ordinary tree but has invaded the folklore!

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  8. I have never seen this bittersweet, or if I have I haven't known what it was or what it does. Makes me realize there is sometime malevolence lurking in beauty!

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  9. My goodness this is intriguing! Especially entranced by; "during the Fall season the deep yellow of the berries bursts to reveal an orange jewel, while the foliage changes to a beautiful yellow and fencerows adorned with bittersweet become glorious to see."

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  10. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful vine of berries that sound glorious.

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