Reader's Exchange

Celebrating the Poe in poetry

Healthy dandelionIt's April, National Poetry Month, and the sad but timely news is that poetry and e-readers don't play well together.  Craig Morgan Teicher observes in the 3/26 Publishers Weekly that it's "surprisingly hard" to recreate as digital display the irregular line lengths and distinctive indentations with which poets craft their work. 

Another threat to poets' peace of mind has been with us for centuries: those irreverent types who can't resist the temptation to parody or pay homage to their favorite verses.  I have it on good authority that some of these people even blog.

Cultivating my own bit of Round Rock lately, I've encountered (as you have) a vibrantly stubborn landscape challenge that thrives on adversity.  The spiraling despair of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Bellsseemed the ideal point of departure for my tribute to this worthy opponent: 
 

THE WEEDS

Note the plethora of weeds - 
Tall weeds!
What a dismal chore their lushness guaranteed!
In the pleasant afternoon,
At their quantity we swoon
And we forecast hours rendering them less.
For each unwanted sprout
Means everyone will doubt
Our success.

And the neighbors -ah, the neighbors- 
Those expending all their labors,
Who can guess
At the hours, hours, hours
Mitigating some distress
‘Mid the shrubberies and flowers
Lest their yards appear a mess?
They fight vegetations evil 
In this campaign quite primeval 
Soldiering on.  
Though the dandelions should cower
Still they tower, tower, tower,
Tower
Those paragons of weeds!
Uninvited plants exceed
Those we've coaxed to grow from seed!
Toward their absence we proceed.
Spending time, time, time,
Fighting these botanic crimes,
For the overthrow of weeds,
Of the weeds  - 
Spending time, time, time,
Fighting these botanic crimes, 
We're swiftly chopping weeds,
Oh, the weeds, weeds, weeds- 
We're expertly lopping weeds;
Spending time, time, time,
Turf is freed, freed, freed, 
Righting these botanic crimes,
Cheer abating of the weeds, 
Of the weeds, weeds, weeds -  
And negating of the weeds, 
Of the weeds, weeds, weeds, weeds,
Weeds, weeds, weeds - 
End the greening and the preening of the weeds.

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