Friday, December 15, 2006

A Professor's Complaint

With apologies to Shakespeare . . .

From off a hill whose concave womb re-worded
A plaintful story from a sist'ring vale
My spirits t'attend this double voice accorded
And down I laid to list the sad-tuned tale;
Ere long espied a fickle Prof full pale,
Tearing of Papers, breaking pens atwain,
Storming her world with marking's wind and rain

Upon her head a beret black of wool
Which fortified her visage from the cold
Whereon the thought might think sometime it held
The carcass of her manuscript, growing mold
Time had not scythed all the semester had begun
Nor work all quit; but spite of heaven's fell rage,
Some energy peeped through lattice of seared age

Oft did she heave her papers to her eyne.
Which on them had conceited characters,
Laund'ring the mismatched figures in the brine
That seasoned woe had pelleted in ink
And often writing "why" and "what do you think?"
As often scribbling undistinguished woe
In phrasings of all size, both high and low.

Okay, I realize that some of you might not recognize the first three stanzas of Shakespeare's poem "A Lover's Complaint," even without my horrid emendations. Because not many people read it anymore. Which is a shame. Because it's actually quite interesting for a complaint poem. I'm particularly fond of it because the language is so dark and dissembling. It's also a great parody/one-upping of Spenser. But yes, grading is hell. And grades are due the day after tomorrow. Chappy Chanukah everyone.


Calendula said...

It's fantastic to be able to carry through on the parody of a long-ish poem. Great work. Good for Shakespeare and good for you.

muse said...

Dear calendula:

Thanks very much. But I must know: Why do you keep complimenting me? Why did you ask if I was "levantine"?

I'm very happy to have found such a kind reader, though I'm sure I don't deserve it. Perhaps because of my curious nature, I can't help wondering why.