Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Housekeeping and Today's poem

Welcome to my new blog! This is to be a repository for the goal of my most recent doomed-to-die goal: a poem a day from school, written at lunch and preserved here. Each night, if I want to, I hope to explain the poem, and commit the intentional fallacy by pretending my interpretation is right.

With less ado:

Today's poem is currently untitled. I wrote it with simple guidelines in mind: no usage of the words [light, darkness, mind, nothingness, infinity...] that plague (or adorn) much of my work. The words tumbled out, with little structure except the alliteration, meter, and rhyme scheme. Note the pair of couplets, repetitive alliteration of 'w', and the change in meter between the couplets. It is the middle item that I found most interesting, and you will see why.

Let's start at the top. "So." This was the kickoff word; once again, I had no idea where I was going with this. I might get rid of it. On the other hand, the jarring aspect of it reflects the theme that I decided the poem has, which I'll get to once I provide all the evidence. "A whittling whisper crossed my path". Note the 'w's. The eroding whisper is a rumor, which the narrator encounters. "And watered the night away." I still don't understand all of my decisions, but I use night here as T.S. Elliot uses winter in The Waste Land: it is a time of comfortable forgetfulness.
This rumor ends that.

"While wandering the dunes of dawn." Dunes rock, seriously. The narrator skirts around wakefulness, and so approaches and "passe[s] the shores of clay," which is Europe. Trust me.

In "And a dwindling wisp" I cheated a bit with the 'd'. Oh well. The dwindling wisp is eleven million people who were exterminated by a particular empire and were hated by those "civilized" cultures such as Greece and Rome when they were in power, too ("Aegean taboo). Always people have hated these groups, particularly the one which made up six million of those eleven. "Across the iron moat", or curtain, but at this point there is no curtain but the preparation of one. The Berlin Wall has not been built, but the seeds of the Cold War are being planted even as this one is being fought together by later enemies.

"Once wed we there", the narrator marries the wisp by way of the moat. "As lions flare" as Britain, with the narrator to its aid, makes landmark victories against the Nazis. "From grass's ancient boat" I'll get back to.

So, by now you may have realized, this is about World War 2. WW2. 'W's. I noticed this afterwards, remember. Entirely coincidental and subconscious. The narrator is America, the wisp is the Holocaust victims, the whisper is the news of the atrocities, the dawn is the war, the lions are Britain, the Aegeans are, interestingly, the Aryans, and the shores of clay (the substance from which mankind was formed, or in this case, modern definition of nationalism and civilization) are Europe's coasts.

"Grass's ancient boats" is still a bit enigmatic to me. I'm a bit tired right now, so expect an edit to this tomorrow. Maybe I'll have thought of something.

Before I go: one word was changed from the inception of this poem to the way you see now. "From grass's ancient boats" was "In grass's ancient boats." I'll remember why I did this tomorrow.

Ben

1 comment:

Alex said...

Here's my doomed goal: comment on every one of your poems.