A Luminous Halo

"Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end." --Virginia Woolf

My Photo
Location: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Smith ’69, Purdue ’75. Anarchist; agnostic. Writer. Steward of the Pascal Emory house, an 1871 Second-Empire Victorian; of Sylvie, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL; and of Taz, a purebred Cockador who sets the standard for her breed. Happy enough for the present in Massachusetts, but always looking East.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Bad Poetry: Earwigs

Edward Newman was a 19th-century British poet and President of the Entomological Society. It should therefore come as no surprise that his poetic masterpiece was an 86-page treatise on bugs, The Insect Hunter. The following is from the section "Earwigs."

Notice that Newman doesn't bother with rhyme. He has a similar insouciance with regard to alliteration, figures of speech, repetition, or almost any other poetic device you can think of. He has definitely mastered the art of monotonous cadence, however, chopping an endless catalog into four-foot lines of verse:

First of walkers come the Earwigs,
Earwigs or Forficulina;
The hind wings, quite transparent,
Like a lady's fan are folded
Neatly up beneath the fore wings,
And when opened out are earshaped,
Very beautiful to gaze on;
All the legs are very simple,
And the feet are all three jointed;
At the tail we find a weapon
Very like a pair of pincers,
And with this 'tis said the Earwigs
Open and fold up the hind wings;
You may watch them and observe it;
I have never had that pleasure.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home