Aug 25, 2008

Ode to the brave train traveller

This was originally written for the Open Humour Blog:

To the brave train traveller

Thou brave child of Alexander the great
Thou who fights long battles with fate
O’ lucky bearer of the choicest insults
Enlightened thou be, by the foul-mouthed cult.

Ye rise early, crosst many roads
Before thy might the villains bowed
Ascending a wagon full of faces so vain
Thousands to battle, hundreds will be slain.

An umbrella beest thy sword,
With closed eyes as thou climbs aboard
Elbows be thy armour and shield
Thy feet danceth when the hands are sealed.

Protecting the land where thee sets foot
Forever it seems, thou will stay put,
Jostling and pushing hath no effect
Thy strong body suffers no defect.

None dareth rise up against thy might
For if they do, you are all set to fight
The teaching of years, the words in thy mouth
Flying like bullets, at those vagrants uncouth.

None can attempt a feat like thee
Hanging by a finger, avoiding that tree
Standing up to that army twice a day
It ain’t that easy, to battle everyday.

A salute to the master kicker,
The uncrowned king of trains
The soldier that bravely battles fate
And steps out alive, injured but not slain.


For those interested, the above verse was an attempt to parody the heroic couplet style of writing that was prominent during the Renaissance age. It is characterised by exaggeration and grandeur, making the subject seem almost divine. Another characteristic is the form which is rhymed couplets in iambic metre, though this one is not in iambic metre. (do you even know how tough it is to calculate it, let alone write in it!)

The heroic couplet, lines in iambic pentameter rhymed in pairs(aa, bb, cc), appeared early in English — it was Chaucer's favorite meter — and came into vogue in poetic drama in the seventeenth century, but in the eighteenth century, in the hands of masters like Dryden, Pope, and Johnson, it became for many years the dominant English verse form. Its name derives from its use in seventeenth-century "heroic" (epic) drama and poetry.

Alexander Pope's Rape of the Lock is an excellent example of a parody of heroic couplet, and very very funny too.

1 comment:

whirlwind said...

this is absolutely hilarious. I love how you are so versatile with your writing that you consciously adapt different styles in your poetry. And yes, I second that, train travelling is nowhere close to the way she made it sound!