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Parodies Of Classical Poetry

Sestina: Ready Room
Review Boy (Jim Wright) — 24 Jun 1998

Hey gang,

Someone challenged me a while back (after, I think, the "Raven" ripoff Kris Schuler and I wrote) to try my hand at other Poe poems, and Ezra Pound's "Sestina: Altaforte."

I haven't gotten to any of the Poe ones yet, but here's my initial Pound effort. Feedback feared. :)

(I do have the idea for the next one: I just realized that "Annabell Lee" and "Jennifer Lien" could be interchangeable. :) )

LOQUITUR: En Beltran de Dorn. Captain Janeway's in a bad mood after yet another Delta Quadrant race harrasses them.

Damn it all! this Quadrant knows no peace.
You helmboy dog, Paris, go! make warp music!
I save my rage for when shuttles crash.
But ah! When I see the expanse cold there, opposing
Then the fields of stars around us turn crimson
Then quirk I my mouth well glad with rejoicing.

In contested quadrants I stop rejoicing
When aliens quench the quadrant's faint peace,
And the phasers from black vessels flash crimson,
And the photon torps roar their death music
And the ship's systems fail from that fiery opposing
And if Chakotay's the pilot I've no doubt we'll crash.

What's with the Commander, who cannot BUT crash?
Tom's job is safe; you can hear him rejoicing
Though testosterone sends those two men opposing!
Why can't they reconcile and give me some peace?
Chakotay and Paris friends? Now there's music!
But they butt heads often to my cheeks' rising crimson.

And I cherish my hair tight bun, bound crimson
And though it comes loose in even a small crash
Still my coif gilds my heart with rejoicing
And I whip it about madly to the music
When the holodeck is free for me to use in peace
And the cabin-fevered crew aren't opposing.

The aliens who crave war approach, opposing
They know my attire, four pips and uniform crimson
And refuse to leave me to cordial peace
If I must fight, I will, and see their dreams crash
For the end of these fools I find no rejoicing;
But still I fill the vacuum with their mortal music.

Paris, Torres--more warp music!
I'm sick of the stress of vessels opposing!
Be I mistress of battles, I find no rejoicing
When all that alien debris drips crimson
And my dreams of peaceful contact crash!

And let the whine of phasers burn them crimson!
Great Bird grant us depart this culture crash!
Hell greet all who dare deny me peace!

(Based on Sestina: Altaforte by Ezra Pound)