Saturday, October 04, 2008

high terror on the blue website

I stand corrected. Earlier I snarkily noted that Stevens's "13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird" gets a disproportionate load of parodying, and wondered why other Great Mods didn't. The author of In My Mind I'm Going posts her own snarky riposte: what about WCW's "Red Wheelbarrow"? Of course. I suppose any modernist poem that can be taken as a ditty will get parodied. Yet, still, there's something about "13 Ways": trying one's hand at the perspectival variations. A guy who admits he's something of a drinker tries his hand, and the URL has the word "everypoet" in it (as in "everyone is..."):

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Keg

Among twenty restless students,
The only stoic thing
Was the base of the keg.

I was of three thirsts,
Like a cellar
In which there are three kegs...

Here's a parody of Pound:

Salutation to a Previous Generation

O Generation of the entirely snug
and entirely impenetrable,
I have seen poets versifying in the dark,
I have seen them with uneven lines,
I have seen their volumes full of gibberish
and heard unlikely theories.
And you are smarter than they were,
And I am smarter than you are;
And Hopkins lives in the anthologies
and cannot even write criticism.

And here of Williams:

Homeland Security Advisory System

nothing depends

a red seal

phrases of high

on the blue

And Dickinson:

General Advice to Miscreants

Split the hair - when you face the music -
Blow after blow - will roll aside -
Violence dealt to the batted belfry
Spent on your hair and not your hide.

Loose the flood - like a snake oil seller -
Gush after gush, and swear it's true -
Cro-Magnon creditors! Credulous cretins!
You'll escape yet from the peer review.

The three just above (Pound, WCW, Dickinson) are the work of Jay Scott, who writes (among other things) The Daily Whale, satires for every leaf of the calendar.