This article contains amateur poetry written in verse (barring the two short ones at the end). I’ve wished to write poetry for quite a long while now, and being part of the BTSB crew gives me the opportunity to actually publish it, as well as the chance to review it at a later date.
Of writing poetry, I have the following to say. Firstly, it is surprisingly difficult. I had four major points to consider; rhythm, metre, rhymes, and general expression of what I wanted to say. For me, I feel as the rhythm was the most difficult aspect (it remains far from natural in what I present in this article) – perhaps this is felt by other ESL speakers and writers as well. Secondly, writing poetry feels weird. I constantly felt like I was, in an indescribable way, pitting myself against someone or something. Lastly, whilst I thought trying my hand at poetry was extremely enjoyable, sometimes I felt like abandoning it all and writing an article about something easier and, more importantly, less personal.
The short verse-snippets in this article tell of the lives (usually in a mocking tone) of the Nine Worthies, a set of heroes named by 14th century French author Jacques de Longuyon. The Nine Worthies include the following characters, listed in order of appearance in this article; Hector of Troy, Julius Caesar, Joshua, King David, Judas Maccabeus, King Arthur, Charlemagne, and Godfrey of Bouillon. Alexander the Great is, of course, the 9th Worthy, but I opted not to write about him at this time.
In my poetry, I thought it wise to allude to the KJB and Shakespeare’s works to show off what I had read before. Likewise I found it difficult to resist the opportunity to include puns and wordplay. Unfortunately, these factors might make understanding what I aimed to say difficult – and therefore ruin the poetry. This is somewhat ironic, as I have always thought that reading amateur poetry was annoying specifically for this reason. With that being said, I had fun in trying out poetry, and hopefully you, the reader, might be inspired to give it a go one day.
Here we lay our scene, played by writer lone,
accompan’d by nine Princes of ages lost.
Set betwixt mind and map, in realms unknown;
wherein man meets Human, at an untold cost.
Should thou seeketh sorry savoury purpose
for wit-working writ in this-like domain,
know thus: it is jealousy of sweet corpus
given life by Poets born nevermore again.
Righteous removal of hatred and hope
mine noble effort doth aim to achieve,
purposing to will a will: graciously cope
with thine deficits, and thyself not deceive.
An unjoyous task be an unsightly view,
howbeit combined, us ten may our sins subdue.
Down in the deep darks of Underworld dwelleth thou now, paragon.
Once-worsted warrior, won by Worthy wrath, answer I: wert thou war’s pawn?
Virtue or Vice, venture we to weigh, be Man’s grim glory-greed by nature:
opinions oppos’d ought to cull, ere culling come their feature?
Heracles-hatched held thou not, as title; heroic deeds were-
thy toil to Troy’s tale. Thus, live in legend, lacking mine rage to incur.
Follow we hence an Ancient with another,
driven to decimate this well-Worthy rank
with cruelty akin to that conferr’d by brother
and heavy heir, whose heart in happy jealousy sank.
Then fall, res publica! no father, mother,
no dictator can truly-taught treachery thank;
bloody betrayal will any bond-breath smother,
right-rooted trust from former-friends’ souls yank.
Thy death promis’d propagators prosperity,
power war-won, and Divinity dismal:
most bounteous boons by bandit-business.
Follow’d annihilation of austerity;
th’estate of august Athens’ heirs, turned abysmal-
thy life and reign tainted, by want of wiseness.
Now after the death of Kaiser, our words spin
backwards in time, speaking of asp y Nun-son,
whose deceitful deeds Worthy-worth, held by his kin-
worth the while, deems only I, of being justly undone:
the tribes of th’Twelve would without thou have won.
O Clandestine conqueror; ill cit-servant;
thy victories aptly amount to Cain and one.
In viperous Vices wert thou fervent,
epithets of these Worthy, bestowed by the observant.
Comes next not Nero, but an other
of his kind; a sonorous song-writing King,
whose fiery feud with fiendish Foe slayed tother.
A Man hosting Heavenly heart, with offspring
of Greatness well-deserving; to this cling,
since thy sovereign sling better never brought.
Saviour-spawning for, honour thy memory we ought.
Writ or sang, may be songs of gallant heroes
which here world hath witnessed manifold-
many ascrib’d fame, some reduced to zeroes;
thy name thine ruin foretold, fair friar of old.
Holofernes himself hesitated,
in revealing thy nature and natural-name.
Designated traitor, art thou ill-fated
to suffer the slings and arrows of defame?
Revolting as thine atrocious acts are,
take in this: from Iscariot’s vile will art thou far.
Dragon-descendant boast thee thy title, bear king;
Lord of the castle, Protector of a table-
grandeur and chagrin both did thy knights thou bring.
Lo! of their fearsome feats tell many a fable.
In stories, yea, unmatched remains thy glory,
as testament to power of the auditory.
Without contest, likewise was fair thy Queen,
whose affairs arduous were deemed obscene.
Fine a match in matrimony; thou and her!
save there a sea of spears had between thee been.
Myth equal the merits of eager exertion, Sir.
Tedious tales of warlocks, and Knights Green
may – perchance – fail to entertain those keen.
What is fiction? but display of smoke and air;
as Revels are ended, what remains on Scene?
Myth equal the merits of eager exertion, Sir.
conquering, uniting, governing.
Inviolable, untouchable a ruler.
Of Bouillon hail thou, good God-Fear,
King of Jerusalem! oh dear!
Renouncing the title,
thought our man vital;
but he died after a single year.