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Thread: The old git's lament

  1. #1

    The old git's lament

    Oh, we are fools to age!
    To let old time have his wanton way,
    And deny us what we threw away,
    In days of easy youth.

    In days of easy youth,
    With life stretched long as evening's shades;
    As, quick as evening, childhood fades,
    As year piles into year.

    As year piles into year,
    And squashes flat all hopes between;
    There's really something too obscene,
    In worshipping the cash machine;
    In swapping random for routine;
    I refuse to be too late!

    I refuse to be too late,
    To put on wings and try to fly;
    To shout aloud to an empty sky,
    "Come take me if you will!", I cry,
    "I'll make it easy, by and by,
    "I'll live too fast, too much, too high!"
    For I won't believe we start to die,
    Till we leave our childhood behind,
    And bask in the sloth of an aging mind,
    That wonders not, nor tries to find,
    A single thing that's hid behind,
    The glum facade of daily grind,
    And responsibility's dread bind;
    I'm not yet crippled; Not yet blind;
    I thumb my nose at those resigned;
    I am not yet, nor will be twined,
    In grave-cloth's wrappings 'fore my time!
    Oh, we are fools to age!
    Last edited by Xamonas Chegwe; 02-02-2006 at 07:12 PM.

  2. #2
    That should be scrawled upon a huge stone building for everyone to read as they pass hurridly along the smoggy dusty downtown streets.Their eyes would catch the scrawl, they would stop and read and go their way with new thoughts and dreams.
    I could just feel my childhood, especially when you said"with life stretched long as evening's shades.
    And refusing to give up, I really identify with that. I worked in a senior's residence for several years and I noted that those who were still young of heart and mind and even appearance were those who flung away pride and peer pressure to "act there age" and still had the same sort of zeal and love of things the way a child does.
    The others were to me dead though they lived.
    I am going to copy this out.
    I honestly loved the feelings I got as I read along- carefree playfulness, the death of childish playing for bucks, the realization that all could be lost forever and the determination to do something about it.
    the only criticism I have is that I would call it something else. but that is just me.
    It somehows seems too noble for the word git because that word to me denotes that it is already too late. but that is just me.

    any one else have thoughts?
    Last edited by rachel; 02-06-2006 at 06:01 PM. Reason: needed to add more

  3. #3
    Springing Riesa's Avatar
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    How did I miss this?

    My strongest thought is the last line and the first line are the same, so it represents the circle of life to me. I love that.

    I find humor(humour) in the title, it makes me think of a cantankerous old fellow who is, despite being old, full of life. Just like the ones Rachel describes above, the ones that are full of zeal.
    These are my favorite lines:

    I'll live too fast, too much, too high!"
    For I won't believe we start to die,
    Till we leave our childhood behind,

    Nice.
    "Don't matter who they are, anybody sets foot in this house, they are company and don't let me catch you remarking on their ways like you were so high and mighty."

  4. #4
    The Forgotten Muse water lily's Avatar
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    XC, I like this.

    My favorite lines were:
    'I refuse to be too late,
    To put on wings and try to fly;
    To shout aloud to an empty sky,
    "Come take me if you will!", I cry,
    "I'll make it easy, by and by,
    "I'll live too fast, too much, too high!"'

    To me it seems to subtly question through satire the idea of heaven. It's interesting. I like your sense of humour.

    I also really liked the way the last line of each stanza was the first line of the next, it really showed the continuity, the progression in life. Like you age so slowly, you hardly notice that you're getting old.
    "What is it all but a trouble of ants
    In the gleam of a million million of suns?"

  5. #5
    dreamer genoveva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xamonas Chegwe
    There's really something too obscene,
    In worshipping the cash machine;
    In swapping random for routine;
    I refuse to be too late!
    This is a fun, more upbeat poem about resisting growing old. I especially like the above lines. I can identify with, "swapping random for routine". What happens to the spontaneity as we grow older?

    And as for the rhyming- how do you guys do it? What a task! Congrats.
    "I have so often dreamed of you that you become unreal." ~ Robert Desnos

  6. #6
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    Yes, I didn't see this until now either. Over a month. Wonderful. Soooo enjoyable. It has a Victorian feel, the really good associations I have of Victorian poetry. My favorite parts are the repetition of the last line of the previous stanza as the opening line of the new. Also the last stanza with a 16 line flourish of the same ending rhyme (almost the same, but where are you going to find 16 words that rhyme perfectly in english) just keeps building and building tension to a climax. Very nice.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    "Love follows knowledge." St. Catherine of Siena

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

  7. #7
    Virgil,

    Thanks for your kind review.

    I'm glad you liked the rhyme structure. You might be interested to know that it was actually completely accidental!

    I didn't intend it to rhyme at all but after scribbling down the first stanza, I found I'd rhymed the middle two lines. It then happened that I wanted to continue from the last line of the verse but the next line ("With life stretched long as evening's shades;") didn't really fit with the "deny us what we threw away" line, so I repeated the line in-between, beginning a new verse, which worked a lot better.

    After that, continuing in the same vein just came natural, as did lengthening the verses and repeating the first line at the end of the poem.

    The last stanza actually has 2 sets (one of 6 lines, one of 10) of rhyming lines but the similarity of the two syllables blurs the join somewhat. The lines either side of the change ("For I won't believe we start to die, Till we leave our childhood behind,") was actually part of an earlier (and far worse) poem that I added in here because it seemed to fit the sentiment expressed.

    I'm not altogether convinced about it's Victorian feel - perhaps in the use of language, but not in the sentiments expressed (they don't seem Victorian in my opinion). I liked what you said about the tension building though; when I read it aloud, I find myself starting fairly calmly but getting louder and faster as I near the end.

    Thanks again for reading it,

    XC

  8. #8
    It doesn't have a Victorian feel to me either, something about it reminds me of a retro sixties- timed place, and sort of a little sound bite of life repeated all thru the otherwise cold cement jungle by individuals one at a time. That magic moment in time when a person, alone in an ocean of same colored fish, turns the other way and swims steadily purposefully against the tide, remembering his baby fish days-the wonder, the danger, the excitement.
    Taking the wisdom thus gained and turning to grasp the child that is passing him by like a wispy shadow on the graffited street, this person , who CALLS himself by that demeaning title, is nothing of the sort.And suddenly his mind understands what his heart has been crying out to him. He is liberated, he is free.
    Last edited by rachel; 03-07-2006 at 03:56 PM. Reason: grammer

  9. #9
    Suzerain of Cost&Caution SleepyWitch's Avatar
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    To shout aloud to an empty sky,
    "Come take me if you will!", I cry,
    "I'll make it easy, by and by,
    "I'll live too fast, too much, too high!"

    these are my fave lines, too, and I loved the repetition of the last lines..
    "Oh we are fools to age" is cool, too because it implies that aging is not a matter of course but a matter of choice.. so those who age are fools because they give up....
    wow, Xamonas, I'm absolutely awestruck!

  10. #10
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    This poem has such an uppity beat, very playful and the rhyme scheme is perfect!

    To put on wings and try to fly;
    To shout aloud to an empty sky,
    "Come take me if you will!", I cry,
    "I'll make it easy, by and by,

    I've felt like that, many times!!!!!

  11. #11
    Springing Riesa's Avatar
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    ah, now it's like a refrain. oh we are fools to age. damn it xc, you hit the nail on the head.

    And bask in the sloth of an aging mind,
    That wonders not, nor tries to find,
    A single thing that's hid behind
    yep, yep.
    "Don't matter who they are, anybody sets foot in this house, they are company and don't let me catch you remarking on their ways like you were so high and mighty."

  12. #12
    What's the prognosis? Dr Eep's Avatar
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    I'm very impressed with the ease and timing of your writing!! Also, I really enjoyed the content.

    I'm with Riesa there on that quote - It struck me as a particularly well written piece!

  13. #13
    in angulo cum libro Petrarch's Love's Avatar
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    Thanks for reviving this, Riesa. I think this was one of my favorites by xam. That opening/ultimate line is so good that it sometimes comes to mind and I start wondering which famous poet it came from until I remember where it's from.

    "In rime sparse il suono/ di quei sospiri ond' io nudriva 'l core/ in sul mio primo giovenile errore"~ Francesco Petrarca
    "Follies and nonsense, whims and inconsistencies do divert me, I own, and I laugh at them whenever I can."~ Jane Austen

  14. #14
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    Yay, for Xam! This was a good one. He ought to be allowed back. That controversey is long gone.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    "Love follows knowledge." St. Catherine of Siena

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

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