Friday, January 7, 2011

Short and Sweet (or Sour)

Epigrams for this Poetry Friday. What's an epigram? A short, clever poem or saying. Here are some of the poetic variety:

Preparedness
by Edwin Markham

For all your days prepare,
And meet them ever alike:
When you are the anvil, bear—
When you are the hammer, strike.

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Written with a Diamond on her Window at Woodstock
by Queen Elizabeth I

Much suspected by me,
Nothing proved can be,
Quoth Elizabeth prisoner.

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The title of this epigram from Three Poets by Robert West is perfect.

2. THE TAXIDERMIST

Her father's dead at last, the lout—
but now he's all she writes about.

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This one doesn't seem like what we usually think of as an epigram, but I like the image of Zeus shaking the darkened clouds.

from the Four Epigrams of Asclepiades - (1995)
for high voice and piano
by Gary Bachlund
for pianist and coach, Theodore Crain

i. Zeu

Throw down snow,
hail,
make night,
darkness,
thunder;
Shake the darkened clouds across the earth.

Photo by Tim Hamilton

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Also, check out On Going Deaf by Anne Stevenson.

The Poetry Friday round-up is at Irene's today.

9 comments:

Toby Speed said...

Enjoyed your epigrams today, Tabatha, especially "The Taxidermist."

Blythe Woolston said...

Even with a diamond, it takes a while to write anything on a pane of glass.

I come here after being at Toby's so this occurs to me:

Omnia mutantur nos et mutamur in illis

All things change and we change with them.

Author Amok said...

I love the Zeus poem, Tabatha. My 11 year old is in a classical mythology obsession. I'm going to share this with her.

M Pax said...

The epigrams are lovely. Thanks for gathering them for our enjoyment.

Irene Latham said...

How fabulous is The Taxidermist?? Love it! Thank you for sharing.

david elzey said...

the last one sorta reminds me of a chant/prayer from easter island:

rain, o great tears of hiro
fall, strike the ground
rain, o great tears of hiro


and "the taxidermist" is great.

Tabatha said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me, Toby, Blythe, Laura, M, Irene, and Dave. I always love hearing from you!

Heidi Mordhorst said...

Cor--"when you are the anvil, bear; when the hammer, strike." That's just life, innit?

There are so many great smithing metaphors in literature, it seems like anyone who had the skill could set up shop and do school visits all year round.

I looked to see what you did to be a PiBoIdMo winner but couldn't find it. Do tell!

(and happy bday Ariana)

Tabatha said...

What an interesting idea, Heidi! A traveling smith-troubadour. Kids would love it.

Everyone who completed the PiBoIdMo challenge was a winner-- which means we came up with at least 30 PiBoId in 30 days. I also won an illustration from one of the guest bloggers.

Thank you for the birthday wishes...she had a good one.