Lemons, Sugar, and Water

Ingrid Ankerson along with Megan Sapnar Ankerson co-founded the digital arts and poetry journal Poems that Go.  “Today is Lemonade” by Ingrid Ankerson is a piece of digital poetry from 2000. This digital poem is a silent video that has simple animation that goes along with the lines of the poem.

Play Today is Lemonade

Play Today is Lemonade

"Today is Lemonade" by Ingrid Ankerson

“Today is Lemonade” by Ingrid Ankerson

“Today is Lemonade” overall could be seen as a simple poem about the summer time. Many of the descriptions in the poem are about humid nights, bugs, the moon and stars, and the sun, which are all things one might associate with summer.

A Humid Summer Night

A Humid Summer Night

Was the Summer

Ingrid’s Summer

 However, the poem is more than just an elaborate description of summer, or based off of generalized concepts that tend to accompany summertime. “Today is Lemonade” is built off of Ingrid’s personal experience. Her poem transcends summertime and gives readers (or viewers) a look into her past and her own experiences in the summer. Ingrid focuses on one timeframe for her poem summer, and it is summer during her childhood. Readers learn that she has a sibling and she used to play with him during the long summer nights. In addition, readers discover that during her childhood Ingrid enjoyed playing basketball, riding her bike, playing on hale bales, and that she had long hair as a young girl.

Playing with her sibling

Playing with her Sibling

Moreover, Ingrid includes references to a book (or movie) she enjoyed, Alice in Wonderland, and a song she favored as kid, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Each of these references to her life are shown by illustrations that transform from one into the other. For example, the moon turns into the Cheshire cat’s smile, as it does in Alice in Wonderland, which then turns into the rainbow signifying the song, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

Cheshire Cat Smile

Cheshire Cat Smile

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

“Somewhere Over the Rainbow”

The readers get an intimate look at one of Ingrid’s life memories. Before her memories play out though, they are initiated by her drinking lemonade. The taste of the lemonade spurs all of these memories that we see in the majority of the video poem. Memories can be tied to events in the past when our senses are stimulated. In this case, Ingrid is stimulated by the taste of the lemonade. She is drinking lemonade and her childhood summer memories rush over her because she drank lemonade as a child in the summer. To show this flow of memories and how it connects back to Ingrid’s sense of taste and tasting specifically lemonade, the poem is circular. It starts with lemonade on the title screen and ends with her drinking lemonade.  When she is drinking lemonade it is “that summer again.” It can be inferred therefore, that whenever Ingrid drinks lemonade, it reminds her of summer, and her childhood. In addition, the circularity not only brings meaning to title of the poem and explains what lemonade means to Ingrid, but also brings closure to the poem, making it clear to readers that the poem is coming to an end.

That Summer Again

Taste of the lemonade stimulates “that summer again.”

Drinking Lemonade

Drinking Lemonade

and a lemonade.

and a lemonade.

  1 comment for “Lemons, Sugar, and Water

  1. James Rives
    March 19, 2015 at 12:18 am

    The post made me think of just how much duality there can be in poetry. On one hand, it can be an incredibly simple experience and on the other, that simplicity can make way for something far more complex. The poem you linked to is a good example of just that. It’s not something to overthink but its definitely the type of work that rewards multiple readings. Ankerson’s choice to couple her poem with images is also worth noting with the link you added, and the quote ” Memories can be tied to events in the past when our senses are stimulated.” Layering senses makes things more worth reading and I’m a fan of this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

css.php