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  #1  
Unread 01-03-2020, 10:39 PM
Mark Stone Mark Stone is offline
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Default Animals at the Sapphic Zoo

Friends I Made Along the Way

I took a long
walk yesterday.
I made some friends
along the way.

Who did I meet?

Hee-haw.
Hee-haw.
A donkey on
a seesaw.

Chit chat.
Chit chat.
A toucan who talks
to a wombat.

Tick tock.
Tick tock.
A sloth who likes
to watch the clock.

Scrub-a-dub.
Scrub-a-dub.
A big pig
in a small tub.

Hippety-hop.
Hippety-hop.
A bunny who sings
at the bus stop.

Clickety clack.
Clickety clack.
A reindeer who’s crossing
a railroad track.

I made these friends
along the way.
I hope we’ll meet
again someday.


[Note: My thinking is that this would be a children's poem. The first five lines, and then each quatrain after that, would be on a separate page, and there would be a corresponding illustration on each page.]

**********

Animals at the Sapphic Zoo

Hee-haw.
Hee-haw.
Donkeys upon
a seesaw.

Clip-clop.
Clip-clop.
Horses who need
a feed stop.

Chit chat.
Chit chat.
Toucans who talk
with wombats.

Happy, they meet us.

Splish splash.
Splish splash.
Fishes galore.
A mish mash.

Flip-flop.
Flip-flop.
Dolphins cavorting
non-stop.

Hobnob.
Hobnob.
Westminster dog,
a big snob.

Sweetly they greet us.

*****

Lines 7-8 read: Horses who make a beer stop.

Last edited by Mark Stone; 02-16-2020 at 10:34 PM.
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  #2  
Unread 01-03-2020, 11:13 PM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is offline
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I like this, Mark. Itís quite clever. The splish splash stanza is a bit of a tongue-twister, which I think is fun. I also like the rhymes. Itís really 2 Sapphic stanzas lineated so the reader can more easily see the rhymes. Thatís fine with me and I think it works. Iíll come back if I have any nits or other useful comments.

Martin
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  #3  
Unread 01-04-2020, 08:38 AM
Roger Welsh Roger Welsh is offline
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Thanks for this, Mark. It's quite amusing. The second line is my fave, with "clip-clop" and "beer stop." Although the donkeys might be more comfortable in a circus and the snobbish dog in a dog show, I think they're doing fine in this or any Sapphic zoo.
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  #4  
Unread 01-04-2020, 08:53 AM
R. Nemo Hill's Avatar
R. Nemo Hill R. Nemo Hill is offline
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Some, putting a positive spin on this, might call it silly or fun.
Sorry, Mark, but for me it is just stupid.

One can try to master all the formal devices in the universe, but if one has nothing to say one simply ends up with nothing.
This exercise seems to think that formalism is an end in itself, a position I couldn't disagree with more.

I will run for the exit now as the cries of "Lighten up!" lick at my sour old heels.

Nemo
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  #5  
Unread 01-04-2020, 09:00 AM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is offline
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I don't get it. To me it reads like scraps and notes that you're accumulating in anticipation of writing a poem, perhaps for children, but it's not yet even a first draft. Martin explained the title, or else I would not have noticed the hidden form (I never had an ear for sapphics), but the reward for those who do notice it is hardly worth the price of admission. (Just saw Nemo's comment and I agree).
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  #6  
Unread 01-04-2020, 09:18 AM
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Rick Mullin Rick Mullin is offline
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Hi Mark,

Sapphics is all about stanzaic integrity, in my book. As well as matching the form to an appropriate theme and the challenge of diction presented by the stanza. You throw all three away in a kind of easy-to-churn-out light verse exercise.



Rick
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  #7  
Unread 01-04-2020, 09:18 AM
Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
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This doesn't do much for me, either, I'm sorry to say.

The intended audience seems to be children, but how many children are delighted by the notion of "a beer stop"? (My own childhood associations of beer stops are not positive--golly, the hours that I spent waiting for my dad to emerge from places that excluded everyone under age 21, so that we kids could finally spend some time with him, and then when he did emerge, he was too impaired to really give us the attention we craved from him.)

How many kids know about the cachet of the Westminster Dog Show, and of those few who do, how many will believe that a dog that is "a big snob" about those with whom he deigns to "Hob-nob"s will, in the very next line, "Sweetly...greet us"?

[Edited to add: My main logical objection is that I'm unconvinced that these highly-anthropomorphic animals would enjoy a "Zoo"--which is essentially a prison for animals--more than they would enjoy more outdoorsy recreational options, such as going camping. Unless these animals are "Happy to see us"--their former captors and enslavers--at this zoo because we humans are now being held in the exhibits. Which is probably darker than this piece wants to be.]

Last edited by Julie Steiner; 01-04-2020 at 10:08 AM.
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  #8  
Unread 01-04-2020, 10:09 AM
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Orwn Acra Orwn Acra is offline
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I was gonna call it stupid, too, but then state that I like its stupidity. There is a meditative aspect to stupidity of this sort, though this poem doesn't exactly get there. It would be better without the sapphics:

Hee-haw.
A donkey
on a see-saw.

Clip-clop.
Horses make
a stop.

Chit chat.
Toucans talk
of this and that.

etc.

Less Sappho and more Robert Lax.
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  #9  
Unread 01-04-2020, 10:55 AM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is offline
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I like Walter's idea. You could have numerous animals and make a children's book with illustrations.
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  #10  
Unread 01-04-2020, 11:10 AM
Michael Cantor Michael Cantor is online now
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What Nemo and Roger Slater and Rick and Julie said. Good light verse is a bitch. When you fail at serious verse, at least you can usually (and particularly these days on the Sphere) fall back on pretension. But bad light verse just sounds silly - or worse.
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