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Fractured fable


Benjamin
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Squatting on his haunches

 

with a morbid obsession for ants.

 

He dug little trenches

 

in the soil, the boy in muddy pants.

 

Filling them with water

 

procured in tins from a garden tap.

 

Then, suppressing laughter,

 

watched the tiny creatures circumvent

 

more snags that he'd invent.

 

 

 

 

And like some ancient lord,

 

untouchable and omnipotent,

 

the moment he was bored,

 

did shovel aside their last remnant

 

to start his game again.

 

And I, sat and read my newspaper

 

on the back garden lawn,

 

with conscience, snacks, a drink-in-a-can,

 

and floods in Pakistan.

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I could see the picture Benjamin. As always smoothly written and engaging, with the morality and indifference of ourselves/gods/the Sunday reader captured.

 

As flies to wanton boys are we to th' gods,

They kill us for their sport.

 

badge

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Squatting on his haunches

 

with a morbid obsession for ants.

 

He dug little trenches

 

in the soil, the boy in muddy pants.

 

 

Hi Geoff, I love those lines..... The rest of the piece is not bad either but those first 4 lines reminded me of my son when he was little. I love the whole concept of the piece.

 

The form interested me too. The 9 line stanzas with a primary syllabic pattern of 6-9-6-9-6-9-6 (the 9 syllable lines are sometimes 8 or 10) are musical. Even the rhyme scheme ababcxcdd felt familiar but I couldn't pin it to an established form. Nicely done.

 

~~Tink

~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

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

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Thanks for reading and commenting Badge, an apt quote from The Bard. :icon_sunny:

Hi Tink. Thanks to you also. The idea for this poem came from a spontaneous flashback to my boyhood (c. 1952 :icon_eek: ) of watching my younger brother at play. The mind is a wonderful instrument of association: triggering images previously buried in the subconscious of a lifetime's experience. I chose the 6 and 9 syllable lines to suit speech rhythms of what I wanted to say. One rhythm for a 9 syllable line is “pa-RAP-a-ta-PUM-ti-TUM-ti-TUM” usually followed by “i-AMB i-AMB i-AMB” That is much too overbearing, with a jingoistic tone reminiscent of some Kipling refrain. Starting with the 6 syllable line my intention was to weaken the stresses and vary the speech rhythm using carefully chosen words to attain an entirely different effect. I'm not aware that this conforms to an established form although I must have read something similar to have made a note of the rhyme scheme, which I rather like. Geoff. :icon_sunny:

Edited by Benjamin
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... I chose the 6 and 9 syllable lines to suit speech rhythms of what I wanted to say. One rhythm for a 9 syllable line is “pa-RAP-a-ta-PUM-ti-TUM-ti-TUM” usually followed by “i-AMB i-AMB i-AMB” That is much too overbearing, with a jingoistic tone reminiscent of some Kipling refrain. Starting with the 6 syllable line my intention was to weaken the stresses and vary the speech rhythm using carefully chosen words to attain an entirely different effect ...

Thank you, Benjamin, for providing some insight into the crafting of this poem. Very interesting. And the last line delivers an effective and thought-provoking comparison.

 

Tony

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

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