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  #1  
Unread 05-29-2021, 05:00 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Default Something to Think About

Let no one be in doubt:

Here in the Common Era
there still are wildebeest
wandering the Sahara.
Thousands are not deceased.

Something to think about.
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Unread 05-29-2021, 05:58 PM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is offline
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How about making the title "Spread the Gnus" or "Gnus Flash"?

The poem got me to think about it, but I'm not sure what I'm supposed to think. I suppose the idea is that I, the reader, had no idea that this creature still walked the earth until you told me, but now you've told me you will leave me to my own resources to appreciate what it means.

Still, the wildebeest/deceased rhyme is maybe clever enough to carry the poem.

Last edited by Roger Slater; 05-29-2021 at 06:11 PM.
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Unread 05-29-2021, 06:00 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Maybe,

"The More, the Better"
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Unread 05-29-2021, 06:07 PM
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Sarah-Jane Crowson Sarah-Jane Crowson is offline
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I don't gnu. I like how this works against the received idea of the Sahara as populated with bones and ire. It's cheering, and we all need that.

I have nothing (as ever) clever to say about the metrics, so here's a small collage (because I have collages for every eventuality, including wildebeest).

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Unread 05-29-2021, 08:14 PM
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RCL RCL is offline
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Yes, still the largest of migrations on earth. Puts me in mind of the starving Italians, my forebears, heading for here.
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Unread 05-29-2021, 10:02 PM
Mark Stone Mark Stone is offline
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Aaron, When I read the poem, my ear wants to hear matching meter: lines 1 & 6, lines 2 & 4, and lines 3 & 5. Here's what came to mind:

Let no one be in doubt:

Here in the Common Era
there still are wildebeest.
They wander the Sahara,
a species not deceased.

A fact to think about.

Best, Mark
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Unread 05-30-2021, 03:54 AM
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Ann Drysdale Ann Drysdale is offline
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Is this a nod to Auden's reindeer in The Fall of Rome?

Altogether elsewhere, vast
Herds of reindeer move across
Miles and miles of golden moss,
Silently and very fast.


There's something going on here other than the simple lie in the quatrain.

The first line says "Let no one be in doubt", but I am. Very much.

Here in the Common Era
there still are wildebeest
wandering the Sahara.
Thousands are not deceased.


I am a dinosaur, uneasy with the Common Era. I have to remind myself that is numerically equivalent to Anno Domini, just as I still have to convert decimal currency back to what I grew up with, so that I can estimate the value of a purchase in relation to its price.

So the poem is telling me that "now" there are "still" Wildebeest wandering the Sahara. It's that "still" that bothers me. There aren't. There never were, not in the Sahara as we know it. The Wildebeest is a creature of the plains, not the desert. Are these the ghosts of their forebears, still theoretically inhabiting an area that was once hospitable? Are they, in fact, the thousands that are deceased? Is this about global warming? About denial?

"Something to think about" Oh, I am, I am.
.

Last edited by Ann Drysdale; 05-30-2021 at 04:04 AM.
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Unread 05-30-2021, 09:35 AM
mignon ledgard mignon ledgard is offline
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Default Aaron Poochigian Something to Think About

Hello, Aaron,

A few short lines, and you have some of us upside-down, thinking, thinking.

Could 'Era' stand for Eratosphere?

I hope this is not a wealdy question.

Nice to meet you,
~mignon
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Unread 05-30-2021, 10:06 AM
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R. Nemo Hill R. Nemo Hill is offline
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"Still, the wildebeest/deceased rhyme is maybe clever enough to carry the poem."

Alas, no, for me it is not.
And I have my misgivings that the whole poem was built round it to begin with.
Such a practice, to my mind, is a formalist writer's tic designed to delight the few but, devoid of a larger context, doomed to irrelevance.

Nemo
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Unread 05-30-2021, 10:49 AM
Bill Carpenter Bill Carpenter is offline
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How about repeating the lines?
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