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.
“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.
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.
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.”
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.
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