Photo of people texting on smartphones.‘Phones’ After Poe’s ‘Bells’ and Other Poetry by Paul Buchheit The Society May 19, 2021 Beauty, Humor, Poetry 18 Comments . The Phones with apologies to Edgar Allan Poe Phones, phones, phones, See the people with their phones, Silver, pink and paisley phones, On the subways and the buses and the sidewalks, all alone, Lost in intimate exchanges with their phones, phones, phones. Hear the murmuring of phones, In their muffled monotones, Feel the muted tremulations, like the buzzing of the drones, Hear the pinging and the dinging of the phones.. Passing time, time, time, In a strange robotic rhyme, With the tintinnabulation of the tones, tones, tones, All the people look the same to me, like clones, clones, clones. See the driver with the phone, How it chills you to the bone, See a world of seven billion navigating all alone, Through the secret sibilations of the phone, phone, phone, phone, phone, phone, phone. . . Desire Emerging from the dawn’s ambrosial mist in starry veils from milky galaxies; seductive as the Satyr in a tryst with waves voluptuous on surging seas; her smile induces songbirds to rejoice, her skin is silken, like a cherub’s wings, her lips are passion’s reddest fruit, her voice caressing, comforting, in whisperings of breezes barely stirring; in her eyes there burns a black quiescence that defies surrounding gales, and in her soul the prize of fire Promethean to tantalize the troubadours who lust for dawn’s reprise while fevered loins and lyrics agonize. . . Paul, a lifelong Chicagoan and retired college teacher, is an author of books, poems, progressive essays, and scientific journal articles. He recently completed his first historical novel, 1871: Rivers on Fire. His most recent non-fiction book was Disposable Americans, published in 2017 by Routledge. 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Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 18 Responses Cynthia Erlandson May 19, 2021 Paul, I smiled all the way through “Phones” — and started laughing out loud when I got to “clones, clones, clones”! I think this is a very clever echo of “Bells”, with wonderful phrases like “muted tremulations” and “robotic rhyme”; and with the last verse — with its distracted driver — subtly suggesting the funeral bells at the end of Poe’s poem. Beautifully done! Reply Paul Buchheit May 19, 2021 Thank you, Cynthia! Reply Tonia Kalouria May 19, 2021 Paul, loved both poems. Being big Poe fan, Phones really rang true:-) Reply Paul Buchheit May 19, 2021 Thank you, Tonia! Reply Gail May 19, 2021 I’m unqualified to speak to the quality of your poems, but I will say that I was prompted to read the weensy, but not insignificant bio at the bottom of the page. I was hoping you had written other things I might read, and, indeed, you have. I might see you around in cyberspace, sir. Reply paul buchheit May 19, 2021 Thanks, Gail Reply Cheryl Corey May 19, 2021 Mr. Buchheit, I think they’re both terrific. Poe is one of my long-time favorites. I’m impressed that you found an analogy between his “bells” and the omnipresent ring tones of cells. I love the Romantic style of “Desire” also. Keep up the great work! Reply paul buchheit May 19, 2021 Thanks so much, Cheryl. Reply Paul Freeman May 19, 2021 Hi, Paul – great name, by the way. ‘The Phones’ really resonated. I recall a student coming to me to beg me not to report him for cheating. In mid-beg his phone rang, so he shut me down with a ‘halt’ gesture while I was explaining how socially unacceptable cheating was, answered his phone, and…was reported for cheating. Thanks for the reads. To my shame, I’m off to read ‘The Bells’ for the first time – I thought it was written by Quasimodo. I have read ‘The Raven’, by Poe, however, you’ll be glad to know. (Just read ‘The Bells’ – wow! Your satirical take is spot on.) Reply Julian D. Woodruff May 19, 2021 Mr. Freeman, In case you’re interested, Rachmanninov’s Op. 35 is a setting of a free translation of “The Bells.” Reply paul buchheit May 19, 2021 I appreciate that, Paul! Reply Julian D. Woodruff May 19, 2021 Two fine poems, Mr. Buchheit, impressive in quite different ways. Reply paul buchheit May 19, 2021 Thanks, Julian. Reply Margaret Coats May 19, 2021 Splendid imitation of “The Bells,” with perfect rhythm. Interesting take on the troubadours to personify Desire. Don’t know that they would have escaped for long, though; your sonnet is one of the fastest moving I’ve seen, especially when you get to the sestet with a single rhyme sound. But that may have taken you a while in careful crafting! Reply paul buchheit May 19, 2021 Margaret, thank you so much! Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant May 20, 2021 Paul, I love the lexical dexterity and wicked wit of ‘The Phones’. I am sure if Poe were here, he would smile at this accomplished nod to ‘The Bells’. Although the poem employs a delightful dose of humor, it makes a very important statement about the sad state of being enslaved to our phones at the expense of partaking in real life today. ‘Desire’ is a seductive, delicious, delightful sonnet. I especially like the closing couplet. Thank you for these! Reply paul buchheit May 20, 2021 Thanks very much, Susan! Reply C.B. Anderson May 20, 2021 Ho hum. 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