Lamentation Upon Surveying the Destruction of a Battlefield
By Everett Patterson CC '06
O Ares, cruelest of the gods!
Are man and thee somehow at odds?
That thou this curse of war should rain?
Upon these men before me lain?
O Zeus! O Jupiter on high!
That thou should let our young men die
And Hermes, swift as lightening struck
It's not your fault, but you still suck.
Judeo-Christian God, you too!
Don't think I have forgotten you!
Betrayed us, whom we once did praise,
So don't start up with your "mysterious ways."
O Death! O Death! O Deathy Death!
That thou should snatch this soldier's breath!
Thou hast with bony finger stung
The diaphragm beneath the lung.
Nay never shall they breathe no more
Nor beat their heart at bosom's core.
Their brains no waves; their veins no pulses
And in their esophagi no peristalsis!
O Vocative! O Vocative!
Not nom'nitave or locative!
That I, to distant concepts cry
To abstract nouns personified!
O Letter O, most foul vowel!
That thou should be the sound I howl,
Instead of "Ah!" or "oooh" or "Aye!"
But no, it's "O," and sometimes "Why?"
Why, ye gods of Rome and Greece?
Shall war and horror never cease?
O ye Roman gods and Greek
That I in the subjunctive mood should speak!
1st Runner Up
Slumming it with the Metaphysicals--------------------------------------------------------
By Yonah Lemonik CC '08
O Beloved, who stands so resplendent,
Heavenly form, with pleasures attendant.
To thee I sing, with passions ascendant,
O Beloved, you glow so transcendent!
May I unhook your bra?
Oh, so you just want skip straight to the sex?
Do not judge me, nor set me defendant.
Who has set you over me an intendant?
Are we both not of Adam descendant?!
Of original sin do not be so repentant!
Just cop me a feel of what framing that pendant.
I see I have shocked you O Venus Divine
But mustn't we tow the natural line?
Did not Eve become Adam's, as you become mine?
For procreation, the Lord did to us assign.
So do you want to have my children?
Okay, then can we just practice?
I'll rhyme you into fucking whether you want to or not.
For me to conquer you seems my heavenly lot,
Even though you aren't particularly hot,
And I could easily move on having missed my first shot,
It's just that I'm really quite lonely and desperate for human contact but
due to low self-esteem I am only able to communicate with women in
offensive and crude pleas for sex that scare them away before they can see
my inner beauty... ot.
I see now that to woo you my words must be sweeter,
Even though to my side you are starting to teeter,
And will join me in bliss like a lotususus eater.
But who knew better than Shakespearereater!
For clearly to win you, needs iambic pentameter.
O lovely, thou art crowned with golden tufts,
O lovely, may I use your thighs as earmuffs.
Still nothing? C'mon, that was stuff was golden,
You're not too good to put out for a sonnet.
I mean that would've gotten Queen Elizabeth out've her pants
and they named Virginia after her-
VIRGINia – not BARSLUTnia.
You know what? You're not enough good enough for this stuff.
I'm not going to waste it on you, not one single stich
Not one rhyming couplet, you dumb slutty bitch.
And now I'm alone, bereft of a lass...
But what is that I see, in that female morass?
Empty of contents, a double shot glass!
In the hands of a skank who is lacking in class.
Verily tonight, I'll be getting some ass.
(For I will approach her with standards descendant,
And say to the face of the drunken endendant)
“O beloved who stands so resplendent.
To the I sing with passions redundant...”
2nd Runner Up
The Five Degrees of Unavailability
By Michal Richardson BC '06
Our sad tale begins with a girl you've not met--------------------------------------------------------
But whose plight and ill fate I impart with regret.
Should it ring any bells, either literal or mental,
I assure you that this is quite coincidental.
Our heroine spent her nights bawling and pining,
For what starts as desire ends up sounding like whining
That fills listeners with despair and fatigue.
"I can't have him," she'd cry,
He's so out of my league!”
They say two's company, and bad things come in threes --
But heartbreak, my friends, comes in five degrees.
The first degree starts with deep infatuation
But ends, as you've guessed, with dark humiliation.
And not one that fades with a hearty, drunk recap --
No, this haunts you and taunts you, like a shattered kneecap.
After weeks vascillating, one night in a groove,
She called up the boy and she made her bold move.
But as all "good ones" are, unless I'm mistaken,
The lass's first love was regrettably taken.
It takes nine for a ball club; fours always trump threes,
And heartbreak, dear friends, comes in five degrees.
She fell for her best friend from childhood, who
Liked everything she liked, from films to shampoo.
Their dialogue, swift, and as perfect as canon,
Hit her over the head like a playful Biff Tannen.
"Hello, McFly!" said she to herself.
"Tell him you love him, or stay on the shelf."
He had to talk to her, too, said the young man that day,
And promptly he shared with her that he was gay.
It takes two to tango, in times such as these --
When heartbreak, I'm afraid, comes in five degrees.
The only boy who could ever reach her
Was the sweet-talkin' son of a preacher man,
A gentle soul and a caring creature,
He loved her as, perhaps, no one else can.
The event that preceded the couple's demise
Happened when her folks looked into his clear blue eyes
To which she gave a resigned sigh and an, "Oh, sure,
At least he never questions if I'm keeping kosher."
And so shaiketzes, plentiful as fish in the seas,
Make a grave number three in our five degrees.
A new category sprang when our favorite lass
Trudged one September morn to her first day of class,
To discover with horror her passion's successor
Was taken, not Jewish, gay, and her professor.
How she toiled, embroiled with this odd contradiction!
This truth stranger than what the man taught,
Which was fiction.
If I may interject, lay down one solid rule,
Don't start diggin' on faculty members, you fool!
Not this one, with four symptoms of our dread disease
Which nears us to the end of five tragic degrees.
The man's four out of five, if you're tuning in now,
Were: taken, gay, not Jewish, faculty. ... Wow.
And yet Mondays and Wednesdays, at ten thirty-five,
The pitiful damsel'd never felt so alive.
Till the last "Unattainable" clause crossed her head:
To be more out of reach, he would have to be... dead.
Though designs on deceased make good citizens tremble,
Alexander Hamilton groupies, assemble!
Sing it, sisters and brothers and all, if you please,
Of the most icky of these five cursed degrees.
Fear not, our tale ends not in murder cold-blooded;
The girl's full young heart one day simply flooded.
She joined a support group to mend her transgressions,
Fell in love, of course, with the man running the sessions,
But she got over this one, for she's growing stronger
And her attention span's gotten just that much longer.
Time to time, the old suffering she'll pause to acknowledge
There's nothing better to do - because, hey, it's college.
But sure as my piano has sixty-four keys,
Heartbreak, patient friends, comes in five degrees.
3rd Runner Up
A collection by Amitai Schmonz GS '09
Girl from Nantucket
Tired of your crap limericks
Prefers haiku, thanks.
Three poems in the style of Ogden Nash
I. The Punther
Ogden Nash writes like a poet,
Except tersely, so you can stow it.
Should you behold a Nash oeuvre,
Prepare to swevre.
Better yet, if you’ve a question for Nash,
II. New York Real Estate
Often newcomers find that space is an issue.
To be able to turn around or stretch without punching a neighbor’s wall
But look on the bright side: at least when you’re home potential visitors
Too large a flat and when your spouse goes on an errand on his or her way
out he or she won’t go to the effort to find and kissue.
Besides, you can make anyplace livable with a dash of creativity,
Or by purchasing expensive contraptions designed to add livity,
Or by holding a very small housewarming party and relying on guests’ givity,
Or, for those with a practical bent, oblivity.
Rich folk keep spare houses in Connecticut,
But you can’t just go off and buy one, it’s bad etiquette,
Unless you have the requisite breeding as predicate.
Does it truly matter? You betticate.
And the commute? Forgetticate.
In summary, if you want to live in the city it’s a matter of dealing with
small apartments and don’t even think about houses,
You’ve done well if you don’t sleep directly atop your neatly folded
III. Reflections on Modern Prosperity
Ode from a Grecian Urn
O please, doth chill out. I’m a fucking urn.
O geez, I think that was pentameter.
Goddammit. See, you’re messing with my head!
Alone, I’d never mastered metric foot;
Your florid verse has elbowed its way in
And now I feel an ass. No, not that way,
Don’t be a perv. I don’t have any hands
Or really any apparatus for
The sensing of sensations in that sense.
What’s worse, I sense I lack your sense of rhyme.
A Personal Favorite
By Joshua Schwartz GS '08
Canadia, I've given you all and now I'm nothing.
Canadia, eleventeen dollars and seventy twenty cents, January 17, or whatever heathen calendar you use there
I can't stand all your moose(s)
Canadia, when will you give up the delusion of your sovereignty?
Go fuck yourself with your hockey stick
I don't feel warm. Don't bother me.
I won't write my poem 'til I'm in my right mind.
Canadia, when will you be civilized?
When will you take off your flannel?
When will you look at yourself through the mocking eyes of everyone else?
When will you be worthy of your twelve citizens?
Canadia, why are your libraries full of books?
Canadia, when will you send your Mounties to Iraq?
I'm sick of your inexplicable existence.
When can I go to the black market and buy what I need with my real money
Canadia, after all, it is you and the Dutch who are weird, not the normal world.
Your moose are too much for me.
You made me want to be a hockey star.
There must be some other way to settle this argument.
McGill is in Montreal, but I don't think anyone goes there, it's deserted.
Are you being serious, or are you some cosmic practical joke?
I'm trying to come to the point.
I refuse to give up my obsession.
Canadia, stop pushing, I know what I'm doing.
Canadia, the pine needles aren't falling (that's why they call them "evergreens!")
I haven't read a newspaper in months, do you even have a written alphabet?
Canadia, I feel sentimental about the moose.
Canadia, I used to be dyslexic as a kid, and I'm not rosy.
I drink maple syrup every chance I get.
I sit in my house for days on end and try to make sense of your existence.
When I go to Montreal I get laid but never in English.
My mind is made up; there's going to be trouble.
You should have seen me listening to Alanis Morisette.
Canadia, it's them bad mooses.
Them mooses, them mooses, and them maple syrups. And them mooses.
The mooses want to eat us alive. The mooses are power mad.
Canadia, I'm putting my queer shoulder to the wheel-eh?