14 February 2011

+JMJ+

New Poem on Monday (and a Firedance through the Night!)


letter W Ampersand Q
number 9
Read all of this month's poems at
Crosses and Cradles!


When I sent in my question, Dauvit said he hoped he'd get it in the draw--and of course I was pleased. We know what prompts we'd like for ourselves, but not what prompts would be welcome to others. And I always feel a little guilty when someone gets my word or my question and then says it was more of a challenge than he'd bargained for.

But I also like challenges--especially when they're over, as this one is. So I hope the person who sent in the word which I use in the following poem doesn't feel bad when I say my first reaction to it was horror. Just my luck to have to write a poem about the one thing in the world I just don't eat. =P



Word: Tilapia
Question: Where does the time go?

There was an old millennium who lived in a shoe
With just enough centuries to know what to do.
She poured them some wine, but withheld the bread,
Fried some tilapia, and kicked them from bed.
When the centuries suddenly set up a clatter,
Only she knew what was really the matter--
And what to her experienced eyes should appear:
From each medium-sized century, a hundred small years.
They had hope in their heads and speed in their shoes
And steered themselves in the direction of news;
They left on their own but they did not know
That they burst into months when they started to go.
They had gone on forever, it seemed, when they found
They had cracked into weeks and now covered more ground.
In their midst the millennium struggled to say,
"The weeks split into seven, each of these a day."
Dazed and confused, they knew not what was true;
And then they were hours, more familiar to you.
Then minutes, then seconds, then bits smaller still:
All to your credit when time sends the bill.
And our world is so full of these temporal things!
Why don't we all feel as immortal as kings?

Those of you who've read a lot of rhyming verse will recognise some familiar lines. There are allusions to (some might say, "rip offs" of) seven other texts buried in this week's poem. I hope they'll be as fun for you to spot as they were for me to hide them! =)

Thanks again for being such a great host, Dauvit!

8 comments:

Salome Ellen said...

Love it! (And "tilapia" was mine, gleaned from a grocery ad open on my desk ;-D) I'm pretty sure I haven't found all the buried references, so I'll probably keep coming back to this...

Dauvit Balfour said...

Awesome! I've only found three so far, so I'll probably have to take another look, although every time you and Dylan go off on your referencing streaks I get left in the dust. Ain't got not culture.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

Ellen -- I sometimes think the backstories of the prompts are more fascinating than the poems they produce!

You've found the most obvious references, I think. The toughest one is a poem by Lewis Carroll, because I took eight lines of it and used only the first, third, fifth, and seventh lines, which were in the anapestic tetrameter this poem uses. (Does that help?)

Dauvit -- I bet I can guess which ones your three are: a nursery rhyme, a holiday poem, and a rock classic! Am I right??? ;-)

dylan said...

I detect the pronounced influence of one Clement Clarke Moore! I like it. To personify a millennium: awesomeness!

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

Oh, dear! Dylan, I don't think I've ever read any of the poets you are so kind to compare me to!

Salome Ellen said...

I'm up to four for sure, but I hope you're going to give us a week and then a breakdown of what's from where (or at least a generous helping of hints!)

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

I'll definitely post them in the combox next week. =)

Dauvit Balfour said...

*scrapes ground with shoe* yes...