Sunday, July 16, 2006

XIX - The Poetry Challenge

An Agony in Four Fits and a Poem.

Where the players are introduced to the crowd.

There was a time when there was peace throughout the land
And life was milk and honey
When all things were considered, it was rather grand
And well done eggs were runny.

A fair young Maiden entered this idyll
And hearts went all aflutter
She grabbed their attention and had a fiddle
She melted them like butter.

Like hapless candles fluttering around a moth
The Gumshoe was first to break
He threw down a glove made of the finest cloth
Which the Knight was loathe to take.

But take it he did, their relationship terse;
They waited the Maiden’s decree.
Fidelity was the given task; plus a verse
About some harmless drudge named Lee.

Where the players are jostling for position.

The Gumshoe fretted while the Knight sipped his wine
But others had entered the ring
The smart money moved onto the Rottie, K9
Fidelity already his thing.

But the stumbling block that was causing most grief
Was the mandatory topic, Lee.
“To be writing about him is beyond belief”
Said the Knight. The others had to agree.

Lillie and Lux came to play. “We want to know:
Can we take Lee when it’s over?
The Maiden can go to the cop or Cosmo,
She can even run off with Rover.”

So, dear reader, the lines are drawn, words have been said;
We are slowly progressing the scenes;
Fidelity remains to be hit on the head;
Does anyone know what it means?

Where the Knight writes on fidelity.

The Knight looked down at his blank serviette
And wondered what to write
Help me Sancho! There must be some angle to get
On the others in this fight.

The Gumshoe, said Sancho, will view it felonious
That’s what policemen do.
Perhaps you should heed the words of Polonius
And “To thine self be true”?

Now, the dog of course, is an outside chance
While Percy’s chasing robbers;
But really what woman gives a second glance
To a hairy beau that slobbers?

It was Percy, for Mayden, who started this fight,
A copper for a gal;
Under the circumstances, it sounds right,
If I use a villian-elle.


The Poem


Curled up beside him close at night,
She was contented as a lassie could be.
And the flame in her heart burned bright.

She adored him deeply, with all her might
In the place that she most wanted to be,
Curled up beside him close at night.

She was pure as the snow is crisp and white
‘Til the day she chanced upon Lee;
And the flame in her heart burned bright.

Her happiness soared to reach new heights
Never before had she felt so free.
Curled up beside him close at night.

She asked with an accent, passingly slight:
Did you say you would marry me?
And the flame in her heart burned bright.

The depth of her love was easy to see;
Some things we learn are meant to be;
Curled up beside him close at night.
And the flame in her heart burned bright.


Where the circus leaves town.

Sancho, the poem is writ, our job complete,
We can but win or fail,
And having stayed long enough to compete
It is time to hit the trail.

You have been so loyal, I must thank you so,
You helped me stay the course
Good luck, my man, you are free to go
And, yes, you can have my horse.

There’s nothing so sad as a circus ground
When all the crowd’s dispersed;
The grass is trampled, the bunting’s come down,
But what’s become of those ‘versed’?

Percy is strutting the policeman’s domain
K9 is entering dog shows,
Poor Lee has slipped into obscurity again
Mayden is posing for photos.

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  1. Cosmo...Oh Cosmo...Dearest Newbery...thank you.
    For once I am mostly at a loss for words-
    "And the flame in her heart burned bright"
    Indeed it does~

  2. Damn, Cosmo! Percy and the dog had best just slink into the sunset!
    Nice Villian-elle there, by the way, and Yeats would be proud of your circus.

  3. Hey! What do you mean "a harmless drudge"?

  4. Sorry me old chap, a little poetic license.

  5. Lillie - I ne'er would think to slink. You seem almost to cast thy vote ahead of time - favoring the one on whom you dote.

    Tis ill advised! Verily, my rhymes will leave thee hypnotized...

    Sir Cosmo - A fine title, lol! Do I face an ex-Marine then?

  6. Sir,

    We are of the same size. If it is not too much for me to venture, may I enquire about your coat and hat as well as the horse?

    Perhaps I could hold both of them for you on the morrow, lest a projectile or two should pass through them, sullying the fine material.

    I should add that I have long admired your breeches, but fear this may be too much to ask.

    Simper Fidelis,

    PS: Sorry I first accidentally posted this to your previous post. I have been distracted, by turns inspecting your closet and your stable. I notice a fine stitched and tie-dyed saddle, I think from Mexico or Spain?
    July 17, 2006 2:16 AM

  7. Cosmo - bravo! It's lovely to observe a fellow NC maiden be wooed with such verbal prowess! Can Percy or K9 keep up? I wonder...

  8. Sir Cosmo draws first blood. Very enjoyable. Great sense of humor.

  9. Great job, guy!
    Now I fly
    to see the try over yonder, the big city edition.
    It wouldn't be fair
    and I would be err, if I didn't at least view the competition.

  10. /bark bark bark


    a merry agony! a wonderful read however fitfull. and, i have been rapped sharply on the hip: it is a merlot or cab lee informs me. my apologies. the circus will leave and i will return to tales of alien abduction. you wont find me on eukanubavision.
    until sunset then....


  11. Sancho, I dub thee an imposter! Most likely Tonto, to the NYPD's Lone Ranger.

  12. K9: real poets drink Pinot Noir. My glasses are graced by nothing else.

  13. No, Sir Percy; I am ex-marine only to the extent that the original ectoplasmic Newbery crawled forth from said salty soup some considerable number of weeks ago now.

  14. To all other posters: I bow and accept your tributes!

  15. JCN, thanks for your note. I've posted the following to Cora and ccd K9:

    Cora - seems to me this would all make more sense to put on hold until you get back and say you're ready. I'm going to put a note to that effect on my blog -

  16. Precious Newbery...
    You know it's funny- when I think that you could be a football player, or a total computer nerd...and in my heart you are "only" precious!

    It makes me smile that I envision you the way my heart sees you. And now, I suppose forever, when I open a new bottle of red wine...I think of you.
    Anyway- I am about to close down the computer,and pack it for a long journey (voyage?).

    I printed your poems and I am taking them with me- folded up and placed in my journal.
    I will return on Friday, if not a bit sooner.
    I heard your words echo inside of me this evening...

    "We get no time to mourn and grieve;
    We can but pack our bags and leave.
    Trust is splintered to so many shards
    When we blithely build a house of cards."

    I trust my house is not made of cards- and that there will be time to grieve. Better still, there will be time to enjoy new friends...and settle a duel or 2 :)
    I say good night and farewell to you last of all.
    Thank you for making me feel so special ;)

  17. umm, after all is said and done, can I have Sancho?

    ps:really well done, cosmo. I love the addition of "the kiss", but that's just the art teacher in me speaking.

  18. I must echo Schaumi's sentiments: Klimt's "Kiss" is one of my favorites.

    All pomp and ceremony aside, Cosmo, this is one beautifully amazing poetry project you have created.

    Aside from the structures you perfectly exectuted, you captured the surrounding events with such a hilarious tongue and cheek tone.

    The last unit I did with my seniors in Brit Lit was a poetry unit; I taught them the villanelle. Indeed, you have the perfect "country song." Plath is still my favorite master, but maybe we can call her my favorite female master of the form and you the male.

    Cheers, Cosmo!

    Pinot Noir, eh? I am a Cab girl myself.

  19. /bark bark bark

    i thought villanelle was a word he made up for the flow!


  20. Schaumi: Have Sancho? Sure, he's a free man now. But be careful, there are imitations about...

    ThursdayNext: Thank you. It has been fun and, at a less hectic pace, will continue to be. I had never considered myself to be in Plath's league, more Lewis Carroll. But part of the fun of the last few weeks has been trying different forms.

    K9: /grr!

  21. intriguing...

    i see k9 has some serious competition.

    pinot noir? i prefer merlot. and at first i thought you might be a vodka drinker..."cosmo" activated a different set of references in my head.

  22. Sir, would you disown the one who accompanies you faithfully to every duel?

    This is the real Sancho. Imposter? I think not, sir. Here is my signature that you may recognize me:

    - Sancho

  23. Verily, you do a passable facsimile of the faithfully Sancho's signature but I am not convinced. How do you explain the postcard from Reno?

  24. Percival, if I cast my vote for the best man, you'd be free to a whole month with Mayden; and Cosmo would just!!

  25. /bark bark bark

    K9 in the ring on time as agreed!


  26. Well Cosmo, Percy posted. My vote goes to him. He really truly does deserve her you know. Sorry. Hope you're not too hurt. All's well that ends well, etc.

    Wanna go out for dinner?

  27. Oh Lillie, you are SO understanding!

    I'll bring the wine.

  28. I've oft been misunderstood, for my incomplete thoughts and ideas,
    but here, better stated is what I meant....
    And it may not so much please you, though truthfully spoken, and that's not its intent,
    Rather that I'm better at paints than with words.....
    but, there's something I gotta tell you nerds...
    So, let fly! Let fly! The words, here they come, better explaining the thing that I had earlier sent.

    I’m sorry t’say, when it comes to the subject of fidelity
    The three of you have all failed the parameter test.
    The only thing left for Cora to approve
    Is which poem was actually constructed best.

    And, I gotta say, that without a doubt, the best construction done, out and out,
    Was J COSMO NEWBERRY, but, the funniest one was done by the mutt.

    Look back and you’ll see the truth of the words, my new friends,
    If I may still count myself in that set
    But the contents were to be of fidelity, fidelity without ends,
    (And, I should have taken x up on his bet.
    For of this subject, I know far too well, have long lived without woman, for vows taken
    Even though sometimes I awaken in the night, wet.)

    (be that as it may....)

    Of fidelity you were to write, and yet all three have failed the test.
    Sorry, but tis true, and the only thing left t’do
    Is for the fair Maiden to choose which was crafted best.

    You see, the idea was to describe something of fidelity,
    and yet all , though they had no call,
    Disparaged the one point of truth, diparaged Lee Kennedy.

    Here is a man whose wife still knows his touch
    On her neck, on her knee, on her ear, none was too much,
    Still slipping into the bathtub with her, still softly nibbling things
    And massaging her, till her happiness he brings.
    I dare not go further, for I respect greatly the man,
    If he were t’ask all, I would give all I can.

    Check out his age, yon ninnies, wet eared upstarts,
    He doesn’t fondle any of the other young tarts.
    I think that to just mention Lee Kennedy
    Is to state the epitome of fidelity.

    Still, that thou were all curs on this matter
    Means only that sweet maiden need pick the best crafted.
    I’m without a doubt on this point, right.
    But, somewhat dissapointed.
    Your aims seemed to be, I dunno, “anti-flatter?”
    and now , is the moment gone? , is all seriousness wafted.
    …..and yon maiden has gone into the night
    And since her ears won’t hear it, let me ask you this, did you think you were competing to get from her boinkted?

    Come now, lads! ( I don’t even know the big dog)
    When I first saw your craftings, I was so impressed
    I offered an apology for even thinking I could joust words
    With two fine word crafters as yourselves, who would have guessed?

    So?TRY AGAIN! a motto I know all too well,
    But, craft from the subject and not narcissicism.
    Show yer true colors, ring like a bell.
    And just in case you can’t take this criticism,

    Just read back what you have all written
    As if you were the very competition.
    See the villainous taint you have cast from perdition.
    Try again, and I’m sure you’ll have her permission.

  29. Well said, but...

  30. Fair comment Boneman, and nicely put. Thank you. (Are you really Lee Kennedy, by any chance?)

    I had sort of hoped to condense my fidelity into the inner poem, Lassie, but concede it may be more 'devotion' than 'fidelity'. I was genuinely not going to compete on time grounds but weakened on vanity grounds. The time grounds remain, but moreso, and I will probably have to keep playing with this hand.

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  33. Sancho, you are a sly sneaking devil who ought to be horse whipped.

  34. He's got my horse, you could whip him with that.

  35. I do deplore my conduct and apologize,
    Deserving of this censure stern,
    Methinks I was unjustified.
    I know that all should take men's weaponry
    As things of seriousness and gravity
    And now, morosely, woe is me, in shame
    And dread despondency,
    I would fain to end this strife
    By falling on my own jackknife.

    Ever beyond consolation,

    - Sancho

  36. "there must be some angel to get on the others in this fight?"

    No, great bard, i do not see m'self yet standing corrected. Though I will refrain from the poetry because it controls the direction I go, and, as the note I left has left some with the wrong idea...
    First off, the quick words I wrote were more of a reaction to her going "into the night," as it were and as stated at the other two posts are a vague apology for that.
    But, less than an apology for the actual words used.
    Thing is, I thought y'all did more "slingin'" than romanticisin', and that kind'a bothered an ol' romantic like me.

    But, I gotta tell ya, even if the mark was missed (in my eyes, at least) that no kiddin' yers was so nicely put together that it was hard t'believe.

    Good job, guy!

    But, if she should choose you, then perhaps you might take the same consideration I think I should take....
    not visiting New York too soon, eh?


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