In Competition No. 3253, you were invited to write a poem entitled ‘Song of Myself’ in the style of the poet of your choice. High
“From spermery to wormeryvia germery and infirmery.Looking back,life has been mostly alas and alack.
The winners pocket £30 each.
“live and let unlive mycountry – ’tis of me i sing:a poet no cap fits as imake love my everflowing springi am, ergo (i think) i feelno need of why, no deadmen’s rules;a calculated life will fail –the truly wise are wholly foolsbut always, firstandlast, know this:to see through me is what i plead –don’t speak my words but leave your lips to kissand use your eyes to see the flowers unreadW.J. Webster
“Late one night as I sat thinking deeply in my chamber drinking,Eyeing embers’ shadows slinking furtively across the floor,While my mood was bleak and dreary, suddenly I felt an eerie,Ominous and haunting query burning in my bosom’s core:Was I meant for greater glories than to pen detective storiesWhile this winged memento mori’s perched above my chamber door?In a fit of doubt I wondered if my Maker’s hand had blundered;Raging inner demons thundered, ‘What was Poe created for?’Then the demons, growing frantic, chanted, ‘Let him write romanticPoems touched with necromantic overtones we can’t ignore!Though his critics may be vicious, and biographers malicious,Vile and flagrantly flagitious, time will even up the score.’‘Let them call him wretched loser, alcoholic, drunkard, boozer,Melancholic, drug abuser – as they will, but we implore –Though he’ll die depressed and lonely, when they find him lying pronely,Let the living call him only Poe the poet nothing more!’Alex Steelsmith
“I wander lonely in a crowdAnd lonelier in vale and hills.I see how winter snow becomesA host of golden daffodils.I wish, when on my couch I lie,My winter too might turn to springAnd all the aches that age has sentMight disappear and make me sing.Earth has not anything to showWhat pastures wait me, bye and bye;There are no signs that this old bugWill turn into a butterfly.But I can walk and swim and write,Drink favourite wine and eat my fill,And though the years have slowed me downThis mighty heart is beating still.Frank McDonald
“I’m lookin’ in the mirror, gawpin’ ’ard at what I see:A scribbler, brash, in full moustache a-starin’ back at me.I spy no trace of Bombay pup, no squib at Westward Ho!But just the pompous Empire that the nobs desire to know.O, it’s Kiplin’ this, and Kiplin’, that, and ‘Kiplin’, recite If’;But there’s nix for little Rudyard, though I’m still in ’ere, bored stiff.Still in’ ere bored stiff, me Lords, still in ’ere bored stiff,O, they’ll eulogise Old Kiplin’, but I’m still in ’ere bored stiff.I gaze into the mirror, see the Kiplin’ peepers flashAnd think of all what’s made ’em so, the potboilers, the cashFrom Simla days to English sward, he’s set me down in ink.Am I still ’im? Is he still me? Is there a missin’ link?O, it’s Kiplin’ this, and Kiplin’, that and ‘Kiplin’, more Just So!’But the dreamin’ boy that’s Rudyard can’t be seen and mustn’t show.Mustn’t show at all, these days, simply mustn’t show:O, a Nobel Prize for Kiplin’ but young Rudyard mustn’t show.Adrian Fry
“Consult the whirring HummingbirdThat hovers – in a Blur –And quaffs red cups of Trumpet Vine –Perhaps she’ll not demur.The close-mouthed Snapdragon – if pressed –May part her Pouting Lips –The Hollyhocks may chance to stoopTo injudicious Slips.The tactful Robin, tiny Wren,And stately Heron – theseAre trusted Counsellors – and theyrespect my privacies.Question the whispering BirchesAnd interrogate the Bee –All are my Confidantes. Who knowsTheir Mysteries – knows me.Susan McLean
No. 3256: prosaic
You are invited to take a well-known poem (please specify) and recast it as a short story of up to 150 words. Email entries to email@example.com by midday on 29 June.