And now for something completely different!

I did promise (threaten?) poetry. Don’t worry, I won’t do this very often.

This one, like every poem I’ve ever written (dating back to 8th grade, actually, and including about three or four poems total), began first as a rhythm. It’s modeled, metrically, on Milton‘s 1653 translation of Psalm 5. I can also see in it the influence of a few other texts, like the villanelles “Do not go gentle” (Thomas) and “One Art” (Bishop) and Neil Gaiman’s bit of doggerel “Basilisk and Cockatrice: A Moral Poem” – that last one certainly occurred to me as I was writing, though I’m not sure how great its influence was. And of course, the most direct ancestor is Shakespeare’s 18th.

At any rate.

Variations on a Theme by Shakespeare
Train, LA to San Diego
July 24 2007

I’m scared of loving short-lived love
and also of cliché.
What lines can I be certain of?
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

I know too well tongues cannot furl.
One can’t what’s said un-say.
Afraid, I promised: “never, girl,
shall I compare thee to a summer’s day.”

But no one gains from silenced art.
So, fuck! I’ll join the fray.
With cloudless gusty furnace-heart
shall I compare thee to a summer’s day!

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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Leigh Walton talks comics and maybe other arts. (RSS)
He also works for the very excellent publisher Top Shelf Productions (which does not necessarily endorse the views and opinions, etc, herein).

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Header by me. Contains an interpolation of the final panel from All-Star Superman #1 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. Speaking of which.

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