The Hallowed Halls of Know-It-Alls are filled with varied creatures
who learn the ropes from other dopes who pride themselves as teachers.

They pontificate, obfuscate, and pose as if important–
while words they use and oft-abuse are no less than abhorrent.

They just don’t care about the glare from those who point and snicker
for in their view they’re not like you – they’re wiser and they’re quicker.

The Hallowed Halls’ vast decked-out walls of meaningless citations
house wistful dreams and failing schemes in many variations.

The outside folks who get the jokes see through the group’s deception
while the Know-It-All is doomed to fall from lofty self-perception.

 

Sandy Stert Benjamin is a writer and poet living in California.

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17 Responses

  1. Monty

    That’s a good idea and a good form for a poem, Sandy; and well-written. It’s got an easy flow to it.

    I couldn’t resist fiddling around with lines 3 and 4 in search of a strict-rhyme; but, the best I could come up with is only semi-strict: ” . . . and pose in self-importance/ . . . are plainly an abhorrence.”

    At risk of sounding officious: I think it’s shouting out for at least a comma, if not a semi-colon, after “snicker”.

    Reply
    • C.B. Anderson

      Monty,

      You are quite right about the need for a comma preceding the conjunction “for,” which here means “because.”

      Reply
  2. Joe Tessitore

    This struck me as an unfortunate combination of terrific, metricly precise verses and verses that caused me to stumble as I read.

    They almost seem to alternate in this manner from the beginning of the poem.

    Reply
    • Joseph Tessitore

      My apologies, Sandy.

      I just counted and you’re right on the money.

      Me and my reading!

      Reply
  3. Mark Stone

    Sandy, Hello.

    1. Line 3 reads as follows:

    They pontificate, obfuscate, and pose as if important–

    I think you can polish the meter by having “pontificate” and “obfuscate” change places, i.e.:

    They obfuscate, pontificate and pose as if important–

    2. It struck me like a blunt instrument in line 6 that the narrator excludes himself or herself from the group, when he or she says “they’re not like you.” If you wanted to make the narrator one of the group, you could change the third stanza to something like this:

    They just don’t care about the glare from those who point and snicker.
    As I’ll discuss, they’re not like us. They’re wiser and they’re quicker.

    3. Stanza 4 reads as follows:

    The Hallowed Halls’ vast decked-out walls of meaningless citations
    house wistful dreams and failing schemes in many variations.

    If you read it closely, it says that the walls house dreams and schemes. However, my guess is the intent was to say that the halls house dreams and schemes. One way to fix this is to change “vast” to “with” and delete the apostrophe after “Halls.” It would read as follows:

    The Hallowed Halls with decked-out walls of meaningless citations
    house wistful dreams and failing schemes in many variations.

    4. The last line reads as follows:

    while the Know-It-All is doomed to fall from lofty self-perception.

    Although you’d have to settle for a near rhyme, one way to smooth the meter would be to revise the line as follows:

    while Know-It-Alls are doomed to fall from lofty self-perception.

    5. I love how all the lines are in iambic meter, but have the extra syllable at the end. According to Wikipedia, it’s called a feminine ending. It is a touch of class, in my opinion.

    6. The internal rhymes in every line show great skill in craftpersonship.

    7. The poem is well done!

    Reply
    • E. V.

      Regarding Mark Stone’s comment #4, how about revising the last couplet as follows:

      The outside folks who get the jokes see through the group’s deceptions
      while Know-It-All are doomed to fall from lofty self-perceptions.

      (All I did was make “deception” plural and then use Mark Stone’s revision of the next {and last} line.)

      Reply
      • Monty

        , , in which case, the ‘are’ after ‘know-it-all’ has to be replaced with an ‘is’: or it don’t read right.

        I’d personally render it thus: ‘ . . . see through the group’s deceptions:/while know-it-alls will suffer falls from lofty self-perceptions.

    • Monty

      Regarding your 3rd point, Mark: Not only have you made a very astute observation; but you’ve also suggested the ideal remedy . . sack the apostrophe after ‘halls’; and replace ‘vast’ with ‘with’. With the additional option (my preferred) of placing commas after ‘halls’ and ‘citations’.

      p.s. I can assure you that my thrice-consecutive use of the word ‘with’ (above) wasn’t premeditated; it just came out that way (I didn’t even notice I was doing it until I’d done it!). How fascinating . .

      Reply
      • E. V.

        No, it’s a typo. Regarding my above comment (and Monty’s response to it), I meant to say:

        While Know-It-Alls are doomed to fall from lofty self-perceptions.

        Sorry for the confusion. I should’ve proofread better.

    • C.B. Anderson

      Mark,

      You are exactly correct in your first point. I would have suggested that if you had not already done so.

      If one intends to write metrical poetry, then one might as well get the meter right!

      Your other suggestions are good as well. To point 4: Why not simply (with appropriate punctuation after line 9)?:

      A Know-It-All is doomed to fall etc. But please note that deception is not a good rhyme with perception, because here one is merely rhyming “-ception” with “-ception,” which is a trivial rhyme. The poem needs work, but it shows enough promise that it’s probably worth staying up late a night to fix its shortfalls.

      Reply
      • Mark Stone

        C.B. Yes, I agree with you that the best option would be:

        A Know-It-All is doomed to fall from lofty self-perception.

    • Joseph S. Salemi

      What the damned hell is “cratfspersonship”? Are you trying to be cute?

      Reply
    • Jan Darling

      Hugely entertaining – and relevant in so many ways from politics to education and industry. Thank you for short but rewarding read.

      Reply

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