Friday, March 4, 2011

Two poems

The poem below is an homage (not a parody) to "Pied Beauty", a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins, which begins, "Glory be to God for dappled things." I have had "Tried Beauty" published somewhere - can't remember which periodical, now - and am posting it here today in honour of all my elderly friends, particularly one who is seriously ill,

by Ruth Latta

Glory be to God for dappled friends,
whose hands show age spots like a Holstein cow.
Praise wrinkled faces, salt and pepper hair,
and shaky voices saying, "It depends",
their words of insight that can show me how
to face life's challenges without despair.

Fragmented memories, half-forgotten dreams -
those bits of information aid me now.
Among the jumbled paste I find a gem.
Like autumn leaves, friends fall so fast, it seems,
Praise them.
(c) Ruth Latta, 2011

The poem below is a parody, written in fun. Many of us know the Emily Dickinson poem that begins, "There is no frigate like a book...." I wrote "There is no Torture" for a friend who tended to be oppressive in recommending books to me. Education is a lifelong process, but one of the pleasures of being out of school is that you can choose your own reading material. It is always fun to imitate a style as distinctive as Dickinson's:

by Ruth Latta

There is no torture like a book
that we're required to read.
I'd rather skip a second look
but credits - I'm in need.

O'er many a turgid work I'd pore
to pass a tough exam.
I studied classics I abhor -
for marks. I gave a damn.

I never cared for Faulkner's work;
his style - my enemy.
In spite of that, I didn't shirk.
I wanted my degree.

Oh, Riverrun in Finnigan,
go run where e'er you please.
No honours must I win again.
These days I take my ease.

I've grappled with the experts' views
and sampled from the best,
and now - pulp fiction if I choose,
for it's my time to rest.

(c) Ruth Latta, 2011

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