Exercise #17 (page 273)

This exercise was to write a parody of a favourite poet and also a cento (poem made from fragments of other poems).

Parody of Ogden Nash
When I say I hate you, I don’t mean
just a bit.
I hate you like I hate reading a really
sad obit.
That listlessly lists all the loved ones
left behind the recently died
And makes you wonder why said newly
departed wasn’t saintified.
You should know that my feelings for you
are much stronger.
If you think this couldn’t be true
because surely nothing could be
more distasteful than reading re
random dead people, you couldn’t
be wronger.
The inspiration for this angsty
abhorrence might surprise you,
fatale most femme –
I hate reading obituaries because it
always annoys me to find that you’re
not the star of them.

Cento of Emily Brontë
The starry night shall tidings bring
That Time is treasuring up for me
Not a sign of further grieving
(Such thoughts were tyrants over me!)

Glad comforter! will I not brave,
That from which it sprung – Eternity.
Three thousand miles beyond the wave
We’ll rest us long and quietly.

Compiled from the following poems: “The starry night shall tidings bring,” “A.G.A. to A.S.,” “A death-scene,” “Faith and despondancy,” “Anticipation,” “Death,” “Written in Aspin Castle,” and “Start not upon the Minster wall.”


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