"Love is like Oxygen…"
Since time immemm imemoreel immorem… since time began, man has wooed* the fairer sex with songs and poetry; primarily, of course, the purpose being to try and get into their pants – but we won’t be covering that today, o my brothers, not today. Poetry takes many a form and structure (and songs I’ve pretty much done to death), so its the former that I will concentrate on…in the context of Magic: The Gathering, of course. So, rest a while, as I retire to my library and slip into something more comfortable – I’ll put some music on while you wait…
(sound of receding footsteps and door slamming)
…I am your lady, and you are my man
Whenever you reach for me
I’ll do all that I can
I’m searching for somewhere
Somewhere I’ve never been
Yes I’m frightened but I’m ready to learn
Of the power of…
(sound of door opening, slamming, then footsteps approaching)
Ah, that’s better! See how resplendent I am in my corduroy trousers, cotton shirt (white), green tank-top, and tweed jacket with the suede patches on the elbow!
(pause followed by stifled cough in the distance)
Today I shall introduce several poetry styles and give examples. The goals of this particular lesson being
a) that I want to give off an air of solemn intellectuality
b) to get some more cash
c) it’s better than picking weevils out of biscuits
d) there might be something in it for you!
I suppose you could think of them as ‘Tone Poems’, eh?
Ha-ha-ha, ha-ha-ha, ha-ha-ha, ha-ha-ha, ha-ha-ha,
ha-ha-ha, ha-ha-ha, ha-ha-ha, ha-ha-ha, ha-ha-ha…
(keep going, I don’t think they noticed)
"You get too much you get too high"
Form, The First: Sonnet
The sonnet is a rigorous form with the Shakespearean variation being generally divided into three quatrains (groups of four lines) and a couplet (group of two lines) with the rhyme patterns; abab cdcd efef gg, and written in iambic pentameter (5 word ‘beats’ per line).
SHALL I COMPARE THEE TO A LIGHT OF DAY?
THOU ART MORE LOVELY AND MORE TEMPER-ATE:
WINDS OF RATH DO SHAKE THE DARLING MANTA RAY,
AND SUMMER MAGIC ALL BUT DOTH EVAPORATE:
SOME TIME WALK, HOT THE EYE OF YAWGMOTH SHINES,
AND OFTEN IS THIS OLD PHYREXIAN DIMM’D;
AND EVERY FEAR FROM FEAR SOMETIME DECLINES,
BY CHANCE, OR FORCE OF NATURE, IS MEGRIMM’D;
BUT THY ETERNAL SHIMMER SHALL NOT FADE
NOR LOSE POSSESSION OF THY PERMANENTS;
NOR SHALL DEATH SPARK, WANDERLUST, OR ISHAN’S SHADE,
BE COUNTERED, BURIED, BOUNCED, OR TAKEN HENCE:
SO LONG AS MEN CAN BREACH OR EYES CAN SEE,
YOUR BLASTODERMS ARE SAFE FROM TREACHERY.
It’s probably worth mentioning that a Sonnet shouldn’t be confused with a Bonnet (which is a hat), a Hornet (a stinging insect), or a Linnet (a singing bird)…just thought I’d say!
Form, The Second: Limerick
Taking it’s name, somewhat incestuously, from the popular comedy verse form; the limerick is well-known, so I won’t go into any more detail. Oh alright then I will – but I warn you, it’s quite technical…
Limerick Structure (bracketed syllables are optional):
da DA-da-da DA-da-da DA-(da)
da DA-da-da DA-da-da DA (da)
da DA-da-da DA (da)
da DA-da-da DA (da)
da DA-da-da DA-da-da DA (da)
If playing with the Randy Buehler
(Who, ’tis said, is one hell of a duel-er)
Avert-not your eyes,
Coz he’ll eat all the pies,
And he’ll sick up all over your shoe-ler
I once played a set with Kai Bude
But his language was fruity and crude!
As I summoned a ‘Grunt
He called me a … sod
Which, I think you’ll agree, was quite rude!
Form, The Third: Clerihew
Here’s a simple and fun form of light verse, which was created by and named after Edmund Clerihew Bentley. It consists of two rhyming couplets. The lines can be of any length or meter, but here’s the tricky part: the first line has to be the name of someone well known, whether genuine or fictional.
Is said to do wrong
But the chappie can’t cheat
If you make him randomise his deck sufficiently (but only using his feet!)
Gave his name to a star field
But the name "GARFIELD’S RING"
Is, to me, most amusing!
Form, The Fourth: Straight Iambics
Whether you choose the trimeter (three beats), tetrameter (4 beats), or the pentameter (5 beats), this is a simple form where alternate lines of the quatrain rhyme, or you can use plain rhyming couplets – I mean (*academic giggle and shrug of shoulders*) – it’s really up to you!
For example: (from a recent, thinly-disguised dig)
What dire offence from am’rous causes springs
What mighty contests rise from trivial things
When Cupid’s bow doth breach the Magic frame
And love, not cards, are broken by this game.
Form, The Fifth: Stream of Consciousness
The rule for this form is that there are no rules – just blurt out any old poo in the name of literary endeavour (why not? It works for me on most occasions); the more random, meandering, and meaningless your mish-mash, hotch-potch, stewed apple crumble of an effort is, the more poncy critics will spout adoring dross. Try it out on your English teacher sometime… they like you using foul language too! Oh, and don’t forget to format the finished product in the most stupid and unreadable way possible (I once wrote a poem that was written out backwards and scanned from the bottom of the page to the top!):
Why do they ban
bees’ tards at the D-freakin-C-freakin-I?
My love is
LIKE A RANCORED WAR ELEPHANT
(big but fragile)
HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE
Hate drafting is bad for the soul but good for the
Does Richard Garfield like lasagne?
Form, The Sixth: Haiku
Let’s work on one particular Haiku form, shall we? (What the hell do you lot know? Why am I asking you? I’m the bloomin’ intellectual – just take my word for it!) – in summary, its a poetic form with seventeen syllables written in three lines divided into 5-7-5.
Magic’s an illness
Like tetanus, we all need
Magic is dying?
Perhaps its already dead
Coz Masques block stinks.
"Not enough and you’re gonna die"
Why have I bothered to describe all of this? Well, I thought we could lend a little gravitas to the site by holding a poetry competition! Simply choose your style and produce a poem, in that style, based on something to do with Magic: The Gathering! Now,. I know the question that is on your lips, and that is: "What’s in it for me, Tony?", well I thought I’d stump up some cards (signed by my fair hand, if you’re into that sort of thing), and I’ll publish them in a future article (along with a worthy literary analysis OR some bad jokes) – whaddaya say?
Now, sod off!
*wooed without an O is ‘woed’**
** wooed without the E is ‘wood’ – eh? eh?