Friday, February 1, 2008

In escaped vernacular
Odysseus rides the train; wonders what it's like
to live in a place he can see.
The king takes the train to Ithaca;
commands no men;
wonders what it's like.


Suggested by my train ride in to school each morning, past decadent homes and deceivingly-ruined neighborhoods, wondering whether Odysseus would trade ten unsure years on the sea for ten certain ones in the slums of Chester or Eddystone.

It's a simple thought, and the Ithacan king has always been rendered in heroic verse, so I tried to make it as plain and quiet as possible. While the train is far for being a sanctuary for silence, it's still a place where subtle reflection is possible.

I'm unsatisfied with the punctuation/flow towards the end; wasn't sure if I should have used "The king tries to take the train to Icatha" or if I should have left that absurdity unemphasized; or how I should arrange things so that the last "wonders what it's like" clearly applies to the two lines before it. Finally, any suggestions for a replacement for 'place' in the second line?

2 comments:

kidjumpsearly said...

"tries the train..."? maybe? hmmmm?

i like this. maybe break the sentences down to even smaller fragments, ditch the semicolons for periods, even fill out the spaces with pronouns ("he wonders..." "he commands..."). would probably sound even simpler than what you've got.

110%, man.

kidjumpsearly said...

i also have no good alternative for place. i don't see any grand need to change it, though, so that's how helpful i am.