Subscribe: by Email | in Reader

Elegy -- Ambrose Bierce

Elegy, n. A composition in verse, in which, without employing any of the
methods of humor, the writer aims to produce in the reader's mind the
dampest kind of dejection. The most famous English example begins somewhat
like this:
(Poem #400) Elegy
 The cur foretells the knell of parting day;
     The loafing herd winds slowly o'er the lea;
 The wise man homewards plods; I only stay
     To fiddle-faddle in a minor key.
-- Ambrose Bierce
Parody and humorous verse are closely related endeavours, and it is little
surprise that Bierce has turned his hand to both. We've already seen some
wonderful examples of the latter (see links), and as today's poem - a
marvellous parody of Gray's "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" -
demonstrates, Bierce is just as accomplished a parodist as he is a humorist.

The point of a really good parody is to capture the feel of the original,
and to follow it as closely as possible while sending it up at every turn,
and Bierce has done this admirably - indeed, he has followed not just the
form but the *sound* of Gray's elegy; a lovely piece of wordplay in its own
right.

Links:

Gray's poem can be found at
http://www.library.utoronto.ca/utel/rp/poems/gray4.html; since the parodied
portion is just the first verse, I've quoted it below:

     The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
         The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea,
     The plowman homeward plods his weary way,
         And leaves the world to darkness and to me.

We've run a few of Bierce's poems in the past:
  'With a Book': poem #148
  'Rimer': poem #320

We've also run a couple of themes on parodies;
a set of oft-parodied poems: poem #85, poem #88, poem #90.

and a set of poems run specifically for their parodies:
poem #376, poem #378, poem #380.

And, of course, a number of other humorous poems, too many to list
individually.

- martin

17 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Anonymous said...

Every weekend i used to pay a quick visit this site, as i
want enjoyment, for the reason that this this web page conations truly pleasant funny stuff
too.

Have a look at my web-site :: recommended you read ()

Anonymous said...

For latest news you have to go to see world wide web
and on the web I found this site as a best site
for hottest updates.

My homepage: www.tenminutegardener.com ()

Obat Herbal said...

Seberat apapun beban masalah yang kamu hadapi saat ini, percayalah bahwa semua itu tidak pernah melebihi batas kemampuan kamu.

Addon Solutions said...

Nice article thanks for sharing . Every weekend i used to pay a quick visit this site, as i
want enjoyment, for the reason that this this web page conations truly pleasant funny stuff
too.

Have a look at my web-site Mobile Application Development Company

Post a Comment