Saturday, July 02, 2005

Old forms, new content

Another thread of beauty is being spun over at Making Light. Commentors are vying with each other to produce spammy poetry in restrictive poetic forms. One of the most elegant so far is Shmuel's triolet:
Thirty million I will send
And we can split the take.
If you will help me out, my friend,
Thirty million I will send.
A rule or two we'll have to bend
But there's a lot at stake:
Thirty million I will send
And we can split the take.
Tiel Jackson has a marvellous villanelle, which begins:

There's 30 million dollars in my bank.
I am a widow, under house arrest.
Take 10 percent with all my grateful thanks.

Before our family fortunes cruelly sank,
My husband was a general, powerful, the best.
There's 30 million dollars in my bank.

My son's arrested. They will make him walk the plank.
I assure you this is truth and not a jest.
Take 10 percent with all my grateful thanks. [...]

There are Shakespearean sonnets, double dactyls, clerihews, Latin verse of some sort, and even a rather beautiful sestina, too long to reproduce and too elaborate to excerpt.

I contributed a pantoum, a tricky form at which I didn't entirely succeed, but here it is anyway.

We are sending this courtesy email
To you because irregularities
In your account have emerged. Do not fail
To fill in the form shown (with niceties)

To you because irregularities
Will block your PayPal account. Scroll down please
To fill in the form shown (with niceties):
One quick email, and no or low fees!

We’ll block your PayPal account. Scroll down please.
It’s easy t’unlock your PayPal account:
One quick email, and no or low fees,
Credit card number, and limit amount.

It’s easy t’unlock your PayPal account!
The customer care team wants you to send
Credit card number, and limit amount
To Janice, Jack, Jill, and all of your friends

The customer care team wants you to send
Money, money, money, money, money
To Janice, Jack, Jill, and all of their friends
Spamming and scamming for dollars. Money!

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous:

So glad you're enjoying it. When Jim Macdonald posted his sonnet and spun the thread off in the direction of poetry, I remember thinking that in spite of all the lovely formal triolets and sestinas and villanelles that were turning up, I could be certain that no one would write a pantoum. Yours astonished me.

You should see what the readers got up to Christmas before last, during the Great Tolkien Pastiche Explosion.

-tnh

7/04/2005 10:12:00 PM  
Blogger Jackmormon:

The Great Tolkien Pastiche Explosion is, indeed, really something. Note to my five readers: look in the Making Light archives at the end of Dec., 2003.

But Teresa, you stopped by and did not answer my Question To Serious Readers?

7/06/2005 02:28:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home