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Poetry Magnum Opus

the apprentice


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a smile of satisfaction lights his face

as mystery and madness come to hand

he wields the power of the master's wand

to magnify his will and force a change


and magic in which he's not fully schooled

precipitates an aggravating swirl

with all the inborn madness of a fool

to shake a delicately balanced world


but will his mage return to break the spell

before a tempest runs its frantic course

or keep such invocations to himself

accept things work for better or for worse

that fools just don't know what a fool can be

till life provides the opportunity


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Wow, that is a Sonnet for today. The content is so relative.  It has all the bells and whistles of a classic sonnet with none of the baggage of being stuck in another century. The slightly skewed rhyme pattern, the creative near rhyme, the fluid meter marrying the rhythm of today's language with the cadence of iambic pentameter, even the lack of punctuation and caps date this in the here and now. This is skilled writing. 


~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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Hi Tink: Haven't been around for a while-- there's so much going on in the world at large just now. I couldn't resist making an ambiguous slant on Goethe's 1797 ballad poem which holds an ageless appeal from the humorous to the serious. Probably because the basic traits of human nature remain constant. Many thanks for your kind response. G.

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I would add that as always, Geoff, the poem you've presented is metrically sound and otherwise well crafted. And I completely agree with Judi's observations on the pleasing nature of the rhymes.

Thanks also for the background. It allowed me to look up Goethe's "The Sorcerer's Apprentice." When I read the part about the German cultural paradigm --


Der Zauberlehrling is well known in the German-speaking world. The lines in which the apprentice implores the returning sorcerer to help him with the mess he has created have turned into a cliché, especially the line Die Geister, die ich rief ("The spirits that I called"), a garbled version of one of Goethe's lines (Die ich rief, die Geister, / Werd' ich nun nicht los), which is often used to describe a situation where somebody summons help or uses allies that he cannot control, especially in politics

... I was able to see a present day political relevance.

Nice to see you again,


Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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I also liked (and envied) those near rhymes, but I loved this:

that fools just don't know what a fool can be
till life provides the opportunity



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Thanks guys. I firmly believe there's little we can do to improve upon great writers of the past--but it's nice to surf with verse on the backs  of them :rolleyes:

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Terry L shuff

I like current events poetry those.  last two lines,  GREAT and we will see what a fool can be     Terry

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