Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Charles and Will explain love's inevitable decline (POW 6)

And so it began on a couch with a spilled martini.
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day
when I was wont to greet it with my lays?

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
there are ordinary women
and then there is something else that wants to make you
tear up paintings and break albums of Beethoven
but that wild music burthens every bough.

Not that the summer is less pleasant now.
Our love was new and then but in the spring
and let’s not over-rate the obvious decency...

Roses have thorns, and silver fountains mud;
clouds and eclipses stain both moon and sun,
and who is to say the rose is greater than the thorn?
not I, Henry.

And loathsome canker lives in sweetest bud
and sweets grown common lose their dear delight
and when your love gets flabby knees and prefers flat shoes,
maybe you should have stuck it into something else.

That night I couldn’t destroy her,
such civil war is in my love and hate,
and it ended in the bedroom: desire, revolution,
nonsense ended, and the shades rattled in the wind.

This week's Poetry on Wednesday Prompt challenged us to write a "cento," which is like a mash-up. The lines, unaltered (except for capitalization and ending punctuation) come from the following poems:

Charles Bukowski
  • i wanted to overthrow the government but all i brought down was somebody's wife
  • a 340 dollar horse and a hundred dollar whore
  • the weather is hot on the back of my watch

William Shakespeare
  • Sonnet 18
  • Sonnet 35
  • Sonnet 102

You can read the full text of the Bukowski poems on the Poetry Foundation's website. To look at the entirety of Shakespeare's written work, go to Open Source Shakespeare.
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