#NaPoWriMo #17 – language, a riff on a classic

our language is such a bastard being –
ill-betrothed and misbegotten, no doubt
God would not require that we write poetry
in it, so many words that look alike,
and sound alike, yet have different meanings.
Well, some rhyme, but not they way they should.
God must have been on drugs when he told us
to make a joyful noise with this mess.
Maybe it’s not all God’s fault, but clearly
there was a screw-up somewhere near the top!
“To make a poet black and bid him sing”
had nothing to do with racial protest,
and i can’t believe y’all fell for that crap!


A riff on Countee Cullen’s Yet I Do Marvel, reproduced here:

I doubt not God is good, well-meaning, kind
And did He stoop to quibble could tell why
The little buried mole continues blind,
Why flesh that mirrors Him must some day die,
Make plain the reason tortured Tantalus
Is baited by the fickle fruit, declare
If merely brute caprice dooms Sisyphus
To struggle up a never-ending stair.
Inscrutable His ways are, and immune
To catechism by a mind too strewn
With petty cares to slightly understand
What awful brain compels His awful hand.
Yet do I marvel at this curious thing:
To make a poet black, and bid him sing!

3 thoughts on “#NaPoWriMo #17 – language, a riff on a classic

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