Look Upon My Works, Ye Mighty, And Despair
Our friend @pinkroom suggested I set a poetic task, something a bit more demanding than simply a subject, which too often opens the door to every tin-eared free-verse merchant in Christendom. I have no objection to free-verse but in my experience, only the finest poets can actually bring it off.
I am not among that august number and require structure to focus an essentially undisciplined mind. I suspect I’m not alone in this.
So I want Sonnets on the subject of posterity.
Sonnets should be 14 lines, although a Hopkins-esque curtal sonnet is fine. Any rhyme scheme will do–English, Occitan, Petrarchan, Spenserian–but there must be a rhyme scheme.
A prize, the coveted Winged Victory of Bethnal Green Road (hand-carved out of ossified cat-dung and an adornment to any mantelpiece) will be awarded to the best effort as chosen by myself and a hand-picked panel of my minions and creatures.
And to get the ball rolling, here’s my own paltry effort…
Rhyme And Punishment
When I have left this vale of tears
I hope that it is said:
His sins were scarlet all the years;
At least his verse was read.
And though he often sacrificed
Good sense for a good rhyme:
A kind of well-planned verbal heist,
The mildest sort of crime;
The victims never made a fuss
Nor called the bardic cops
And any feelings of disgust
Were put out with the slops.
Now his cracked voice is put out too
And some would say, long overdue.
Here are the formatting codes, should anyone wish to use them: