A Modernization of “To His Coy Mistress”

You say we should some years delay
The coming of our wedding day,
But God commanded us to try
To fruitful be and multiply.
To make new life, we cannot shirk;
The night shall come, when none can work.
Just as she cannot grow more legs,
A baby girl has all her eggs;
In adolescence they will start
To walk onstage and then depart,
And monthly one by one they pass
Like sand grains in an hourglass,
And once the time onstage is missed,
One soul for Heaven won’t exist.
That we may strive to give them life,
Come with me now and be my wife.



TV Bubble

I passed three houses in a row,
The men like snakes charmed by the game.
The windows I jogged past would show
The footage on each screen the same.
One picture hung in many a mind,
__And here I’ve just one trouble:
Since I don’t watch, I’ve been maligned
__As “living in a bubble!”



Shoulders of Giants

I’m standing up high on the shoulders of giants
Where I can see farther than many a man
I reach down my hand to lift up some new clients
They tell me they’re happy down where they began

I swing to new giants and climb on their shoulders
Ever ascending through year after year,
Searching the heights for some fellow beholders
To find me a wife and to raise children here.

We’ll teach them to follow us higher and higher
And see things so few eyes have gazed on before
And strive all our days to pursue that desire
Till we disembark on the heavenly shore!



Joshua C. Frank works in the field of statistics and lives near Austin, Texas. 

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13 Responses

  1. Allegra Silberstein

    Thank you for these poems, the first one was especially delightful bringing memories of another poem.

  2. Brian Yapko

    All three of these are very enjoyable, Joshua. Shoulders of Giants has an interesting and effective meter which I believe is dactylic tetrameter (though I’m not sure how to categorize that initial stress. A headless iamb perhaps?) I also like that “giants/clients” rhyme. I also admire your modern take on Marvell’s poem. You present your argument in couplets but with a very different spin which brings deep purpose to the carpe diem theme.

    • Joshua C. Frank

      Brian, thank you so much. Having seen your poetry, I’m honored to see your compliments. In fact, it’s nice to have the encouragement from all who commented; I’m just starting to publish my work. To answer your question, “Shoulders of Giants” is actually amphibrachic (unstressed-stressed-unstressed) tetrameter, with the first and/or last unstressed syllables absent in some lines. As for the first one, I thought of it when I read Marvell’s poem and considered that there’s more to it than he was saying.

  3. Cynthia Erlandson

    All of these are delightful! I love the thought expressed in “TV Bubble”, and the vivid imagery you used to express it.

  4. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    I thoroughly enjoyed all three of these poems, my favorite being the first. The seize-the-day-and-procreate message speaks of all today’s society opposes, which made me smile at the word ‘modernization’ – a very clever touch that frames this admirably written poem perfectly. I love the message of ‘Shoulders of Giants’ – a lesson many could learn from. Great stuff, Josh! Thank you!

    • Joshua C. Frank

      Susan, it’s always a delight to hear your thoughts on our poetry! You’ve articulated the points of those two poems so well.

  5. C.B. Anderson

    All three were tightly wrought, Joshua, and I won’t play favorites. The least I can say is that you’ve got the knack and pay attention to detail. But please get yourself a wife.

    • Joshua C. Frank

      Thank you C.B., I’m glad you like them! As for getting myself a wife, I’m already in the process of working towards that…


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