Back after a much-needed vacataion - thanks to Thomas for doing a daily poem in my absence.
(Poem #369) The Cantelope
Side by side in the crowded streets, Amid its ebb and flow, We walked together one autumn morn; ('Twas many years ago!) The markets blushed with fruits and flowers; (Both Memory and Hope!) You stopped and bought me at the stall, A spicy cantelope. We drained together its honeyed wine, We cast the seeds away; I slipped and fell on the moony rinds, And you took me home in a dray! The honeyed wine of your love is drained; I limp from the fall I had; The snow-flakes muffle the empty stall, And everything is sad. The sky is an inkstand, upside down, It splashes the world with gloom; The earth is full of skeleton bones, And the sea is a wobbling tomb!
Another recent discovery of mine, Taylor has written a number of parodies and other humorous poems. While I've been somewhat reluctant to run lesser-known parodies of well-known poems, I think 'Cantelope' is a nice poem in its own right - a very effective combination of 'poetic' language, bathos and just plain absurdity that made me laugh. Of course, it helps that - while I have the vague feeling this is a parody - I have not the slightest idea what the original is.  in case I haven't mentioned it before, I cannot recommend the Poets' Corner too highly. [broken link] http://www.geocities.com/~spanoudi/poems/  mostly because i feel that even if they're good, it's just because the original was (although see next week's theme). Glossary: cantelope: a small, round, ribbed variety of musk-melon, of a very delicate flavour [OED]. the modern spelling is cantaloupe dray: a small cart Biography: Taylor, Bayard b. Jan. 11, 1825, Kennett Square, Pa., U.S. d. Dec. 19, 1878, Berlin, Ger. in full JAMES BAYARD TAYLOR, American author known primarily for his lively travel narratives and for his translation of J.W. von Goethe's Faust. A restless student, Taylor was apprenticed to a printer at age 17. In 1844 his first volume of verse, Ximena, was published. He then arranged with The Saturday Evening Post and the United States Gazette to finance a trip abroad in return for publication rights to his travel letters, which were compiled in the extremely popular Views Afoot (1846). In 1847 he began a career in journalism in New York. Eldorado (1850) recounted his trials as a newspaper correspondent in the 1849 California gold rush. He continued his trips to remote parts of the world--to the Orient, to Africa, to Russia--and became renowned as something of a modern Marco Polo. In 1862 he became secretary of the U.S. legation at St. Petersburg, Russia. Of his works in this later period, the translation of Faust (1870-71) remains his best known. His Poems of the Orient appeared in 1855. Links: The poem's slightly surreal imagery reminds me of Carroll's 'The Walrus and the Carpenter', poem #347 Another poem that relies both on bathos and exaggeratedly poetic language (both very popular techniques) is Claverley's 'Forever', poem #255 m.