09 March 2011


The Name of the Game is Now "Hardball"

W Ampersand P1200378

If you read my poem for W&Q 9, then you got to guess which six texts I "borrowed" in order to write my own bit of verse.

Go ahead and have one last crack at them before coming back and using your Secret Decoder Ring to read the answers below . . .

"There Was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe" by Mother Goose ;-)
A Visit from St. Nicholas by Clement Clark Moore
Oh! The Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss
The Hunting of the Snark by Lewis Carroll
Dazed and Confused by Led Zeppelin
"The World is So Full of a Number of Things" by Robert Louis Stevenson

Today's poem has no clever tricks embedded in the text . . . or anything else very clever, I'm afraid.

My most creative tutee, Angel Delight, is studying analogies in English class and has written an entire portfolio of poems with the "____ is to ____ as ____ is to ____" structure--and I tried to do a little of the same when I saw her this week.

There's still something of that in the finished text, but not quite . . .

Word: Slogan
Question: Where were you last night?

Last month, on a mountain
Last week, down some well
Yesterday, a deep desert
Last night--can't you tell?

Last Sunday, in sunshine
Last Wednesday, in wet
Last Friday, fair weather
Last night: got it yet?

I'll spare you the slogans
Won't show you the way
If you just can't remember
Last night--go away!

Hmmmmm. Not the most encouraging ending to a poem, is it? =P My voices/personae aren't usually so sassy!

I wasn't very happy with this effort, but my Stats page has just told me that a certain participant has been checking my blog for this (backdated) post for the past twelve hours or so--and I don't want to keep everyone else waiting any longer while I get my genius on.

Oh, one last thing . . . I have decided to play hardball. I will not be hosting W&Q in April or in May. So unless you want to wait until June, you'd better start stepping up to host . . . especially if you have a late poem to make up for! ;-)


dylan said...

Your word & question didn't seem like the most auspicious match, but I like what you've done here -- a lot! Be sassy more often! And alliterative (I think of the 2nd quatrain, especially)!

This is my contribution to the monthly festivities.

Dauvit Balfour said...

I'm not sure how you fit the word in there, but I like the way you answered the question... or didn't. It's a lighthearted response to the song that asked it.

Still spinning the wheels over here, I'll comment again when I've got something to add.

Enbrethiliel said...


Dylan -- Not just sassy, but scorned! When I was done with it, I came up with a story for the speaker after asking myself the question, "Why would someone be so insulted by that question?"

Dauvit -- It doesn't really fit, does it? =P And I don't know whether I would have come up with a better poem, given more time. There is something so forthright and solid about "slogan" that I can't quite match up to the whimsical, romantic "Where were you last night?"

Dauvit Balfour said...

Heh, I'm sitting here wondering if the story you came up with and the story I came up with are the same. I have my doubts. I should try to think of a less lurid explanation.

Enbrethiliel said...


Well, it's a "sassier" version of what goes on in Dorothy Parker's short story You Were Perfectly Fine, if that helps. =)

lisa :) said...

I just realized that I read your W&Q posts all the time but I don't think I've ever commented because I don't have much to say on them other than "cool" or "nice job". It occurred to me that you'd probably appreciate those sentiments as comments, even though they're kind of meager. I've never been good at critiquing poetry, but I do enjoy reading your creations! Keep up the great work!

Enbrethiliel said...


Thanks, Lisa! =) I do appreciate all comments. "Cool" or "Nice job" might be meagre, but they are caviar and champagne to my ego! ;-)

Salome Ellen said...

So I like this a lot! I haven't read the story you cite, but that's OK, because the one in my mind is so clear that I don't need to know what it "really means." I think that's a measure of well-written poetry, that it evokes something strongly. And this did.

And mine is finally up, and here.

Enbrethiliel said...


Thanks, Ellen!

This poem doesn't "really mean" something. I honestly was just toying around with rhymes and ideas. Nevertheless, wondering about the story behind it seems like a natural extension of the game, and I'm glad Dauvit jumped in with that. But what story do you see in your mind, pray tell?

PS--I've just read your poem and think it's very beautiful. It evokes faith and trust and wonder all at once! =)

Dauvit Balfour said...

Oh no, without even reading Ellen's, I'm intimidated by "faith and trust and wonder". Especially in comparison with my nihilistic little offering.

I'll Call Her Jenny

The problem of art is to find redemption in brokenness without being cheap. I swear it's coming, we're just not to that part of the story yet.

Dauvit Balfour said...

Also, it looks like I'm hosting next month. I'll be gone the last two weeks of the month, but I'll have the initial post and my own poem up before I leave.

Enbrethiliel said...


I'll update the main W&Q page, Dauvit, so that everyone knows you are the April host. =)