Thursday, April 17, 2014

Dave-El's Poetry Corner: O Freddled Gruntbuggly

In last week's post on poetry, I commented on the skills it take to write good poetry. One may mock a literary form that only has to rhyme or have a good beat to it or neither, it may or may not have a narrative or may in fact make no sense at all. And poems are by their nature far shorter than prose. There are some lengthy exceptions such as Homer's The Iliad which was written centuries before the Internet or Internet Porn so, Homer had a lot of time to kill.  

Where was I going with this? Oh, right! 

It may be easy to mock poetry for all that stuff I mentioned before but when it's done right, I find it takes a level of talent that goes beyond the ability to write prose.  

I've made it a goal to start writing poetry. But it's hard, especially when I hold poems by Robert Frost in such high regard. 

Posted below is my second favorite poem by Frost.  

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep. 

Oh man, there's so much to love about this poem: the clear evocation of mood and environment the writer is in, the haunting quiet of a snowy evening in the woods. But it's also about how the writer has a purpose and this stop, however pleasant, is a brief respite for there are still things that need to be done and responsibilities to fulfill before he can rest.  

When faced with that kind of talent, maybe I should look in a different direction, to deliberately write BAD poetry instead. 

If I want to write bad poetry, I can look to guidance from the Vogons. The Vogons are an alien race that appeared in Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. They are stubborn, bureaucratic and rude. They also write the third worse poetry in the universe. 

Here's an example:  

O freddled gruntbuggly 
Thy micturations are to me

As plurdled gabbleblotchits on a lurgid bee
That mordiously hath bitled out its earted jurtles
Into a rancid festering... 

Now the jurpling slayjid agrocrustules

Are splurping hagrilly up the axlegrurts
And living glupules frat and slipulate
Like jowling meated liverslime
Groop, I implore thee, my foonting turlingdromes
And hooptiously drangle me with crinkly bindlewurdles
Or else I shall rend thee in the gobberwarts with my blurglecruncheon
See if I don't. 

Apparently, others have been inspired to write "bad" poetry in the manner of the Vogons. Click here for some examples

So I'm thinking maybe I'm not ready to lower my sights just yet and I should try to aim for good poetry. 

Let's give it a try. 

The sky is not yet black but the light is fading
The brightness of day moves to darker hues 
Anticipating the coming of night. 
I grow impatient, it takes so long now
In the spring and in the summer
The light holds on as the air grows warmer
But the night does come at last
And the air offers a comforting coolness
And the crickets sing their lullabies 
And the fireflies dance their dance 
Of stars upon the Earth

OK, maybe the Vogon thing's not such a bad idea. 

Be good to one another.

I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You

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