Saturday, September 18, 2021

A Reluctant--But Necessary--Parody




I enjoy doing parodies of great poems. The exercise detaches my thoughts from reality, no matter how thorny the subject matter may be–a process some might argue, in my case, has proven irreversible.  Here’s my reworking of Reluctance a particular favorite of mine by Robert Frost. Its putative metaphor relates to the change of seasons, something soon to be upon us. My version addresses something already upon us.


Here’s my version of Reluctance:

Out through the streets and the hoods,

Past folk living where I have traveled,

I’ve witnessed the passing of those

Among both the rich and the bedraggled,

Left to face their fate all alone,

As each life unraveled.


Many are gone now from the earth,

Even more struggle to survive,

Cursing as they battle

An enemy well equipped to thrive

On souls not believing that

Jabs will keep them alive.


As the not-yet-dead lie lost and still,

Their minds drifting to what might have been

Had they listened to science–

Not trusted the cursed false prophets’ din;

Now in their fervent prayers to live,

We join in as next-of-kin.


For let us never forget,

That in this battle we’re related,

By a single urgent truth:

End Reluctance, be elated,

True salvation lies for all

In getting vaccinated.



And here’s the other guy’s original version.




Out through the fields and the woods

And over the walls I have wended;

I have climbed the hills of view

And looked at the world, and descended;

I have come by the highway home,

And lo, it is ended.


The leaves are all dead on the ground,

Save those that the oak is keeping

To ravel them one by one

And let them go scraping and creeping

Out over the crusted snow,

When others are sleeping.


And the dead leaves lie huddled and still,

No longer blown hither and thither;

The last lone aster is gone;

The flowers of the witch hazel wither;

The heart is still aching to seek,

But the feet question "Whither?"


Ah, when to the heart of man

Was it ever less than a treason

To go with the drift of things,

To yield with a grace to reason,

And bow and accept the end

Of a love or a season?


–Robert Frost



PS.  Just a subtle reminder that this month my tenth Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis novel, THE MYKONOS MOB, is available across all e-book formats for $1.99 via this link.

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