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Old 04-27-2018, 10:37 AM
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Douglas G. Brown Douglas G. Brown is offline
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Default Cabin Fever Reliever ... Poetic Auto-Epitaphs

Winter has really dragged on in my neck of the woods; The last of the ice went out on Sanborn Pond last night, but there is still some patches of on snow on the shaded roadsides.

While splitting up some more firewood for the camp where I have spent winter, I came up with what I will dub Poetic Auto-Epitaphs.

Ill start the ball rolling with one for Edna St. Vincent Millay, a local lady who did good until an untimely gravity induced demise;

I burned my candle at both ends
As others have burned theirs;
Alas, I met my doom, my friends,
By falling down the stairs.
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Old 04-27-2018, 12:09 PM
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RCL RCL is offline
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Good to see you back. Great idea!

Emily Dickinson

I banned the doctor - Willed it so -
Sickened by an -itis
And solo - went - knew when to go
Untreated for Nephritis.
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Last edited by RCL; 04-29-2018 at 09:14 PM. Reason: tweak! tweak! willed for wished
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Old 05-01-2018, 04:09 PM
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Douglas, I'm surprised (nay shocked!) the ball didn't roll beyond me. Nonetheless, I'm still working to make it a worthy way to elegize a poet's death. This morning's measure:

Robert Frost

Until I reached the age of eighty-eight,
Any of the roads, both long and steep,
Were headed for fulfillment of my fate
To utter these brief breaths before I’d sleep.
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Last edited by RCL; 05-02-2018 at 07:21 PM. Reason: line 3, fixed meter; tweaked L3-4
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Old 05-02-2018, 02:03 AM
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Ann Drysdale Ann Drysdale is online now
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Guess who?

She Writes Her Own Obituary

One dark night in the middle of December,
the long, thin hour between midnight and morning,
back came the fairy* in a pinstriped costume
on her way home from visiting her agent:
Just popped in to suggest a small assignment -
How about taking this great opportunity
to put your words in the mouth of posterity?

Then she vanished, to return a bit later,
just like the angel to Abou Ben Adhem,
but the house was still and the poet silent,
slumped on her desk with her chin on her keyboard
in front of a screen that was full of nonsense,
apart, that is, from the following sentence.

Aye, spry she was, too, for such an old woman;
could still turn a phrase like a chit of a girl...




* The word-fairy, who has long served this poet as a muse.

Last edited by Ann Drysdale; 05-02-2018 at 05:01 AM.
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Old 05-02-2018, 07:51 AM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is offline
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Song (Christina Rossetti)

Now that I'm dead, my dearest,
...As dead as dead can be,
I've changed my mind. Plant roses
...And a shady cypress tree.
Be the green grass above me
...With showers and dewdrops wet;
But dearest, please remember,
...And don't you dare forget!

I may not see the shadow,
...I may not feel the rain,
But I demand you sing sad songs
...And feel at least some pain,
For if you go on living
...And pretend we never met,
I swear, no matter where I am,
...I never shall forget.
...

Last edited by Roger Slater; 05-02-2018 at 09:31 AM.
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Old 05-02-2018, 11:58 AM
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Clever stuff! Of course, there must be precedent. Any other examples to know about?
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Last edited by RCL; 05-02-2018 at 03:02 PM.
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Old 05-02-2018, 12:43 PM
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Ann Drysdale Ann Drysdale is online now
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Nice one, Rogerbob. Christina Georgina is probably blessing you for saying the things her maiden modesty forbade.
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Old 05-02-2018, 01:13 PM
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(Mary Elizabeth Frye)

"Do not stand at my grave and weep,"
I said, as when I'd say,
"Don't get me much--just something cheap,"
then sulked, each Mother's Day.

"Do not stand at my grave and weep,"
I said, but didn't want you
to take me at my word, you creep.
So now my sighs will haunt you.
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Old 05-02-2018, 02:49 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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These are great. Now IIRC Dante Gabriel Rossetti buried unpublished poems with Christina and later regretted his decision...

Cheers,
John
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Old 05-02-2018, 02:57 PM
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Not with Christina (his sister) but with Lizzie Siddal (first his muse and later his wife). And he exhumed them (and her) seven years later. He published the former and re-buried the latter.
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