"Carthaginian War Elephants" by Henri Paul Motte‘Irrelephant’ and Other Poetry by Raymond Gallucci The Society May 7, 2019 Culture, Humor, Poetry 21 Comments Irrelephant Within the room there’s something big, But management ignores it. A redwood tree, not tiny twig? Concern they haven’t for it. Though elephant is in the room, It’s on the mouse they focus. Oblivious to pending doom, Like python ‘bout to choke us. Irrelevant is anything That doesn’t suit their purpose. Though ruination it may bring, Indiff’rence they’ve in surplus. “Got Any Duct Tape?” Asked by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s heroic character in the disaster movie Skyscraper. When appears the world needs saving, Comes along a hero braving Death by simple question raising – “Duct tape – have you got?” He can use it as a bandage, Stickiness to his advantage When for climbing he must manage Heights to fall from not. Nasty stuff from pipe be leaking? Structural support start creaking? Crisis hopeless now just peaking? Duct tape’s worth a shot! Unfurling Serling Does your situation seem bizarre? Maybe things aren’t really what they are? Alternate reality you’re in Seeing clocks now counterclockwise spin? Followed Rabbit White down hole perhaps? Can’t account for recent memory lapse? What reflects in mirror’s not the same As behind you picture in its frame? Wondering if sanity you’ve lost? If you into fourth dimension crossed? Then out of the corner of your eye Presence of Rod Serling you espy! Raymond Gallucci is a retired Professional Engineer who has been writing poetry since 1990. Views expressed by individual poets and writers on this website and by commenters do not represent the views of the entire Society. The comments section on regular posts is meant to be a place for civil and fruitful discussion. Pseudonyms are discouraged. The individual poet or writer featured in a post has the ability to remove any or all comments by emailing submissions@ classicalpoets.org with the details and under the subject title “Remove Comment.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) 21 Responses Beverly Stock May 7, 2019 Quite enjoyable!! Reply C.B. Anderson May 7, 2019 Raymond, All of these were very enjoyable examples of light verse. Unfortunately, even the light verse community has been afflicted lately with leftist sentiments. Anything that is genuinely funny and true, will somehow be interpreted as racist, sexist, colonialist, or some other “-ist,” such as Islamo-phobist. Reply Raymond H Gallucci May 13, 2019 My poems are for fun or to tell a story. Reverse wording, whatever, that enables rhyming and maintains rhythm is “poetic license” in my opinion. I write them to enable rhyme and rhythm to be maintained, not as English lessons. I create my own words when it seems appropriate (and put them in quotes or italics” and purposely misspell some to make a point. If grammar be manipulated to accomplish this, so be it. I do not believe in free verse, and non-rhyming, non-rhythmic poems are merely staccato prose in my opinion, although I know most of today’s poetic world frowns on “traditional” rhyme and considers free verse the only acceptable poetic form today. Just try to get published in the majority of poetry journals, many of which do not even accept rhyme. I write a lot of poems (over a thousand so far) and prefer to go on to new ones rather than pore over each one in an effort to make it “perfect.” Thanks to the commenters who enjoyed them. For those who didn’t, so be it – write your own. Reply Raymond H Gallucci May 13, 2019 This reply is supposed to be to all commenters, but got placed here mistakenly. It’s repeated at the bottom. For C.B.’s comment on leftist bias among the poetic community, I can wholeheartedly agree. I have written “politically incorrect” poems of various types, always meant in jest or to be ironic against the “PC” patrol, only to be chastised by potential publishers with “how dare you submit such to us?!” So I actually put disclaimers on such poems that they are meant for fun. James A. Tweedie May 7, 2019 C.B. You forgot to mention duct-tape-ists and Twilight Zone-ists! Come to think of it, even my Dell desktop is PC! By the way, Raymond, I enjoyed the poetic wit. Thanks for sharing your humor with us. Reply C.B. Anderson May 7, 2019 James, I forget a lot of things these days, and I’m glad you’re on to them. Reply Steve Shaffer May 7, 2019 Raymond: very fun! Re: Irrelephant — I’ve been in that room! Re: Unfurling Serling — Seems channeling Yoda you are 🙂 Reply Monty May 7, 2019 Is there a rule in English Usage of which I’m not aware (highly possible).. which dictates that a word such as ‘ignore’ has to be plural if it follows a word such as ‘management’? In L2 of the 1st poem, does ‘ignore’ not work the same in that sentence if it’s in the singular? And if it IS permissible in the singular, then surely you’ve got to sack the ‘s’ to attain the perfect rhyme (ignore it/for it)? I’m aware that you’ve intently gone for the old-style (sort of) reverse-diction in all three pieces . . but I think some of the lines sound silly. 1st poem.. L4: We know that the standard diction would be: “They haven’t concern for it”.. but I feel it could only be reversed thus: “Concern for it they haven’t”. Your version: “Concern they haven’t for it” sounds mangled to me: and forced just for rhyming purposes. L5.. There simply has to be an ‘an’ before elephant.. as in: “Though AN elephant is in the room”. To not have an ‘an’ before elephant has the same effect as if one were to remove the word ‘the’ before ‘mouse’ in L6 . . then the lines would read: “Though elephant is in the room, It’s on mouse they focus”. That’s not English diction . . that’s childish diction. L7-8: To me, this sentence says that it’s the python itself which is oblivious to pending doom. L12.. is, to me, simply abominable. 2nd poem.. L1: “When appears” should be ‘when IT appears’. L8: One assumes that you’ve intentionally reversed the diction from ‘not to fall from’ to “to fall from not” . . nothing wrong with that in itself. But as a sentence it reads: “He can use it as a bandage, stickiness to his advantage when for climbing he must manage heights not to fall from”. What is a reader to make of that? L11: “Crisis hopeless now just peaking?” . . I’m sure you know yourself what that line means; but I doubt if anyone else does. It makes no sense to the unknowing; and that’s before one tries to even gauge how the question-mark comes into play! 3rd poem.. L5: “.. down hole” should be ‘down A hole’. L7-8: I think I can sense what you’re trying to convey: ‘One sees their present self in the mirror; as opposed to their younger self in the picture on the wall behind’ . . but it’s so badly written! For a start, there needs to be a ‘the’ or an ‘a’ before ‘mirror’; and a ‘the’ before ‘picture’ . . and the line “..behind you picture in its frame” sounds like it’s come from one for whom English is not their native tongue. And why a question-mark after ‘frame’? L9: would read much better if it was: “Wondering if YOUR sanity you’ve lost.” L12: Should start with the word ‘the’.. as in: “Then out of the corner of your eye THE presence of Rod Serling you espy.” I’m sure there must be an officially-used term for old-style reverse-diction: i.e. ‘The tired man to his bed went’.. as opposed to modern diction: ‘The tired man went to his bed’ . . but I don’t know the term. So, for now, if you’ll allow me to simply refer to it as ‘reverse diction’ . . . I feel that your attempt at reverse-diction in all three pieces is nothing short of pretentious; and has resulted in a mish-mash of lines – many senseless – thrown (or forced) together, lacking the most basic syntax . . and with not the slightest regard to the diction; nor, more importantly, the slightest regard for the reader. Reply Steve Shaffer May 8, 2019 I don’t usually get in on these issues, but Monty I think you’ve missed the point of the poems. “Light verse” (or whatever) is supposed to be fun and frivolous. Almost none of Dr. Seuss makes any sense either when you subject it to the kind of analysis you’ve done here. And yet his work has delighted children (and adults) for decades. I think these hit the mark. Reply Monty May 8, 2019 I feel it was ill-considered of you, Steve, to assert that “these (poems) hit the mark”. I would imagine that most, if not all, of us who read poetry as a pastime will all have our own personal ‘mark’ as to what and how we feel poetry should be; and as such, that is the ‘mark’ by which we, as individuals, will judge poems. Hence, it would’ve been more appropriate for you to assert that “these hit the mark FOR ME”. I’ve got my own ‘mark’, by which I judge verse: only verse! To me, it don’t matter (it can’t matter) WHICH TYPE of verse it is; nor which word precedes ‘verse’ (in this case: ‘light’). I only judge verse as verse: as poetry. It seems to me as if you’re attempting to defend the above poems by claiming that “it’s only light-verse” . . as if that justifies the schoolboy-errors with which they’re littered (“Oh, here’s a nice little light-verse poem, it’ll be humorous. So let’s just laugh with it; and we’ll turn a blind-eye to any errors”). The very term ‘light-verse’ is ambiguous and optional. What one might see as a light-verse poem , another may see as serious verse, and yet another may see as dark verse. Thus, the word ‘light’ can be considered semi-redundant. It’s VERSE . . and ONLY VERSE. Verse is poetry, poetry is verse. As such, the above pieces can only, and must only, be judged by how they stand up as poems, as poetry . . and not how they stand up as light-verse. I judged all three pieces above as poetry; all the while using my own personal ‘mark’ as a gauge. And I stand by my own personal judgement. There are several contributors to SCP for whom English is not their native tongue; and it’s likely that none of them would make the same basic syntactic errors I found above . . the glaring absences of a ‘the’.. or an ‘a’.. or a ‘an’. In parts, it sounded like glorified text-messages. As regards my “missing the point of the poems”: Poem 1/ I wasn’t in the room with the elephant, so I can’t be sure what’s being referred to; but the reference to a tree would suggest that the metaphorical elephant is an environmental issue concerning the impending destruction of a Redwood forest; on which the authorities are trying to prevaricate. Poem 2/ I don’t watch films: any films . . never have or will. So, a non-starter for me. Poem 3/ Likewise, I’m not aware of a Rod Serling; hence I can’t even attempt to make meaning of the poem. So, it’s not a case of my “missing the point of the poems”; my unawareness of the subject-matters prevented me from ever finding the “point”. But I can see that they’re well-meaning poems, and I can sense the sarcasm throughout. And to those aware of Rod Serling: to those who’ve seem Skyscraper: to those clued-up on green-politics . . I’m sure they are indeed current, humorous and sarcastic poems. On top of which: it could be the case that if I WAS aware of the three subject-matters, I might be in agreement with everything that Ray has said in his pieces. But that still wouldn’t have any bearing on my judging it as poetry. I hope I’ve now shown you that.. yeah, I did miss the point, but I didn’t miss the points on which I made a point of. At some stage in later life, I became aware that there was a renowned author of childrens books by the name of Dr Seuss; but no more than that. When I first saw his name in your last comment, I immediately thought: “What relevance could a children’s author have on this current debate?” So I googled him: HE NEVER EVEN WROTE POETRY! So, whyever have you tried to compare three modern-day poems to an author of prose fiction who wrote for children decades ago? I’m incredulous! Steve Shaffer May 8, 2019 Seriously, “I THINK these hit the mark” was not sufficient? Clearly you think so highly of your own opinion that no one else can have one. I didn’t bother to read the rest of your diatribe. I’ll be sure to ignore any future comments you publish, including any responses to this one. Reply Monty May 8, 2019 I’m too old to be fooled that easily, Steve: I can see straight through your words, and I know for sure that you read every word of my last “diatribe” . . just as I know you’re reading this one. If it’s any consolation, I feel that you mean what you say about not reading any future comments of mine on these pages . . but your curiosity wouldn’t let you resist this one, would it? That’s normal human-behaviour. You either mis-read my last missive, or read it selectively. There was nothing in my words to suggest that I think highly of my own opinion; I merely pointed out that we all have different ‘marks’ by which we judge poetry. You made it clear that because the poems were light and humorous, and made you chuckle . . they hit YOUR ‘mark’. There’s nothing wrong with that. I made it clear that because they were badly written . . they didn’t hit MY ‘mark’. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It doesn’t mean that one person’s ‘mark’ is any better than another’s ‘mark’; it just means they’re different ‘marks’ . . can you not see that? If a hundred others commented on the same poems, maybe half would say they hit their ‘mark’.. and half would say they didn’t. Different marks for different folks. That’s all it is. Don’t be so touchy . . Reply C.B. Anderson May 8, 2019 De gustibus non est disputandum. Don’t be so grouchy, fellows. Reply Steve Shaffer May 8, 2019 CB: Yeah, sorry, I should never have engaged with that guy. I deal with undergraduate emails all the time and I should have recognized the signs. I guess I assumed we were on this site to have a conversation about poetry, not get one person’s view shoved at us. Some people mix up being certain with being right. I’ll be more careful in the future. Reply Wic E. Ruse Blade May 8, 2019 Postmodernist poet Theodor Seuss Geisel (1904-1991) frequently wrote in anapestic tetrametres; but he also used trochees and iambs in his poetry, much in the manner of writers, like Victorian Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, i. e., Lewis Carroll. Horton was perhaps not so irrelephant in Dr. Seuss’s poetic rooms. Reply Monty May 9, 2019 . . . and out of the many critical points I made about the three poems; if any other reader feels that any individual point was incorrect or unjustified . . I invite them to say so. If no one replies (and I’m confident that no one will), then the above Commenter – although clearly not happy with the wording and nature of my appraisal – will have to reluctantly accept that every point I made was a valid one. If it transpires that all my points were valid: then that’s the only thing that’s relevant. Whichever way the Commenter perceived the wording and nature of my appraisal . . is as irrelevant to the three poems as Dr Seuss is. I’m not currently holding my breath . . . Reply C.B. Anderson May 9, 2019 You go, guy. You are the King of nitpickers, and I especially value you for that. Nothing slips by your acute discernment, and I am happy not to have found it necessary to go into details the way you have done. Press on, good fellow. Raymond H Gallucci May 13, 2019 My poems are for fun or to tell a story. Reverse wording, whatever, that enables rhyming and maintains rhythm is “poetic license” in my opinion. I write them to enable rhyme and rhythm to be maintained, not as English lessons. I create my own words when it seems appropriate (and put them in quotes or italics” and purposely misspell some to make a point. If grammar be manipulated to accomplish this, so be it. I do not believe in free verse, and non-rhyming, non-rhythmic poems are merely staccato prose in my opinion, although I know most of today’s poetic world frowns on “traditional” rhyme and considers free verse the only acceptable poetic form today. Just try to get published in the majority of poetry journals, many of which do not even accept rhyme. I write a lot of poems (over a thousand so far) and prefer to go on to new ones rather than pore over each one in an effort to make it “perfect.” Thanks to the commenters who enjoyed them. For those who didn’t, so be it – write your own. Reply Steve Shaffer May 13, 2019 (Thumbs up icon goes here) 🙂 Reply Raymond H Gallucci May 13, 2019 Thanks. If I were to reply to the negative review, it would be to quote the late Heath Ledger as the Joker from The Dark Knight – “Why So Serious?”* (which happens to be the title of another very recent poem [below], with inverted word-order and other typical transgressions of my poetry, albeit maybe not appropriate for the themes of Classical Poets [a lot of my poems are not of the subject matter wanted here, albeit all are rhythmic and rhyming, of the classical ilk]). You spend a lifetime forging career, Expend great effort year-in out-year, Expect achievements difference will make? Detect that it was you took the fake. What you thought meaningful, no one else did. Thought “Beautiful Game” you played? Wasn’t it. You learn were just expendable scrub. Self-servers who etch names on the Cup. So “Why so serious?” Life’s just a farce. Proves quite frustrating reaching for stars. Just sit in back, watch life pass on by. Legit’s the song “Life Sucks, then you Die.”** _____ *This line is probably going down in history as the most famous and memorable quote from the … Batman movie ‘The Dark Knight’. Spoken by the late Heath Ledger as The Joker. (https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Why%20so%20serious%3F) **http://dmdb.org/lyrics/life.sucks.html Monty May 13, 2019 Ahh, now I get it. I couldn’t see the connection first of all . . but now I can see it as clear as day. Well, they do say that some good always comes from bad . . and so it’s proved. When another Commenter above (who’s not supposed to be reading this: but is) tried previously to bring Dr Seuss into play, I couldn’t even begin to fathom why; but now – after seeing your latest abomination – I can make the connection . . it’s ‘children’. Not only did Seuss write for children, but, I’ve since learnt, he wrote as a child would write: using twisted diction, and introducing what were recognised by adults as “nonsense words” (which would explain his undoubted popularity with kids). And your diction is written in the same way . . as a child would write. In hindsight, perhaps that was, conversely, the above Commenters very reason for evoking Suess: to try to subliminally alert me to the fact that your initial poem was wrote as a child would write. But I couldn’t see it . . until I noticed the first four lines of your latest piece (four lines is all I could stomach; I saw within them all that I needed to see, they were disgusting). So I won’t and can’t pass comment upon the piece; and anyway, you (and anyone else who’s been keeping an eye on this thread; especially the keen Commenter) will already know what I’d say. I can only consider what a great debt you owe to the word ‘geography’. If, hypothetically, both of your pieces were able to understand speech, someone would do well to grab them and say: “Look, you two, it’s only ‘cos of geography that you’s haven’t been universally abused. You both found your way onto a website of which the readership is predominantly American; a race known for its false politeness; a race that would recoil in sheer terror at the thought of possibly offending someone by telling the very truth. Thus, you’ve both somehow had a lucky escape.” And what of the readership? Well, they’ve got to live with the fact that they can see with their own eyes what a disgrace to our language both pieces are . . but they’re in no position to say what they can really see. They daren’t! Instead, they’ve got to turn a blind eye to the abhorrences, pretend that they understand each and every line . . and faithfully try to endorse this by commenting that they find the pieces to be ‘humorous’ . . . “and how dare that impudent, outspoken british oaf say anything to the contrary.” What a shamefully sad state of affairs this is against English poetry. Write as you wish: and write as your compatriots allow you to . . . I can and will say no more on this topic (which is good news for the other Commenter above; ‘cos he can now tell himself with genuine conviction that he’s not gonna read any further remarks of mine). It’s a funny old game, ain’t it? Reply Leave a Reply to Steve Shaffer Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.