December 16th, 2006

ozarque figure

Holiday poem in need of repair...

I wrote this poem roughly 25 years ago, and it's badly flawed. I'm not referring to the claim it makes that everything has a reason -- which I'm aware that many of you disagree with me about; poems aren't flawed just because they contain claims that readers might disagree with. The problem is in the way this poem sounds; it's such a Concatenation Of Clashing Consonants that it's almost impossible to read aloud. And although it fits the tune of "Good King Wenceslas," singing doesn't help. [Just imagine singing that line that would end in "ERRRRR-ERRRRR-nest"! Or the one that would end in "FEEEE-EEEEE-CHER"!]

How I cooked up such a batch of unmelodious and diseuphonious lines in a single poem, I cannot imagine. And then there's the fact that it has a batch of lines that I don't understand their meaning at all. [Ozark English sentence, yes.]

Maybe you could help me fix this poem -- or at least improve it? Or maybe not ... maybe it's hopeless. I'll stand by.

A Carol For Christmas

Let us all now understand:
wind and rain and weather,
wrath at play across the land --
rose, and rod, and feather.
Let us set our minds to solve
riddles of the season;
first, the Principle resolve --
all things have a reason.

Granting gloom more than its due
only grants it power;
bitter thyme and bitter rue
bear no Christmas flower.
Disciplines have their degrees,
joy by far the sternest.
Grace becomes you on your knees?
Rise -- rejoice in earnest.

No bell has a double tongue,
none will change its story;
notes remain as they are rung,
constancy their glory.
Marvel then how humankind,
that most favored creature,
gifted with both heart and mind,
lacks this simple feature.

Though the world raise gates and walls
garlanded with folly,
lovingkindness deck your halls,
all among the holly.
To the Holy One be praise,
praise and laud and laughter.
Life shall dance the Christmas days;
Love shall follow after.