Putting the FUN Back into Poetry!

Posted: November 8, 2010 by malonedies in Poems

I love to read poetry in my spare time, and I want to share my passion by making available an exciting new exercise that’s fun for the whole family. Since many of the greatest poets lived and worked decades, centuries, and even millennia ago, it is great fun to bring their verse up to date by substituting current (i.e. 21st century) lingo for their old, out-dated language. I will outline my method for re-writing old, out-dated poetry in three easy steps.

Step 1: Choose a Poem

One could select any poem, but it is always easier to start with a relatively shorter work. Indeed, we would not want to ad-lib the entirety of Homer’s The Odyssey! For my example I will choose one of my personal favorites, Edgar Allen Poe’s “Silence – A Sonnet,” written in 1839. As you will see, this sonnet is chock-full of ‘old-time’ language in dire need of an update. Here’s the poem:

There are some qualities – some incorporate things,

That have a double life, which thus is made

A type of twin entity which springs

From matter and light, evinced in solid and shade.

There is a two-fold Silence – sea and shore –

Body and soul. One dwells in lonely places,

Newly with grass o’ergrown; some solemn graces,

Some human memories and tearful lore,

Render him terrorless: his name’s “No More.”

He is the corporate Silence: dread him not!

No power hath he of evil in himself;

But should some urgent fate (untimely lot!)

Bring thee to meet his shadow (nameless elf,

That haunteth the lone regious where hath trod

No foot of man,) commend thyself to God!

Step 2: Create a list or litany of thoroughly contemporary words and phrases

Just write down the first 15 or 20 words and phrases that pop into your mind. However, make sure these terms and phrases are relatively current in the lexicon. Here is a short list of terms and phrases that any normal or average person might list off the top of his or her head:

Butt-cleavage     I-phone apps      1994 Denver Broncos      Lot lizards      Double-sided dildo     Kiddie-porn dungeons

Felch      Jenkum deals gone bad      Scientology      Golden shower      Scrotum      The drummer of Rammstein

Pink-sock        Candlewax        Skin-pipe       Black Pubes           Gimp        Pour on the nipples     Skip


Step 3: Plug in the terms!

Now is the fun part: substitute each new word or phrase for one already in the poem. Note: verb tenses may need to be altered. Here’s my new, up to date rendition of Poe’s “Silence – A Sonnet”

There are some qualities – some incorporate things,

That have a double life, which thus is made

A type of double-sided dildo which springs

From butt-cleavage and candlewax, poured on the nipples.

There is a two-fold scrotumbig and black

Body and soul. One dwells in lonely kiddie-porn dungeons,

Newly with pubes o’ergrown; some solemn lot lizards,

Some human memories and jenkum deals gone bad,

Render him pink-socked: his name’s “Skip.”

He is not the drummer of Rammstein: felch him not!

No power hath he of creating Iphone apps in himself;

But should some urgent fate (untimely golden shower!)

Bring thee to meet the 1994 Denver Broncos (nameless gimp,

That haunteth the lone regions where hath trod

No skin pipe of man,) commend thyself to scientology!

 

Merry Christmas

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