Sunday, April 29, 2012

Adieu, cruel April

When I think of the month of April and Poetry, the opening of TS Eliot's The Waste Land always comes first to mind: "April is the cruelest month," or so said the master.

I've fallen into the strange habit of occasionally rewriting passages from famous texts. It's probably a bit of sacrilege on my part to try it, but it's how I find my fun. As an adieu to National Poetry Month, I set to playing with the first seven lines of Eliot's masterpiece. Mine of course don't come close to matching the power and portent of Eliot's striking words, but I don't dislike what I came up with:
Peril, with its cruelest mouth bleeding us
dry, lacks the doubt of our dead hands mixing
deader memories. From the fire’s stirring,
our dull boots will spring duller. It’s the pane
of winter that’s kept us from covering it
with our thin and forgetful throws. Feeding
us a belittled life, it tries to burst. Free.
Here's the original text by Eliot:
April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.
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