Sunday, April 17, 2011


I have always enjoyed parodies of poems, especially when the parody is not aimed directly at the poet being aped but instead makes use of a well-known poem to poke fun at someone or something else, including the author of the parody. One of my all-time favorites is "Ancient Music," by Ezra Pound, in which he comments scathingly on winter by turning inside out the Middle English round "Sumer is icumen in."

Two years ago, I posted a parody of one of my favorite poems, "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird," by Wallace Stevens. My work was the result of a frustrating battle with an overstuffed closet in our garage. Two years later, it still makes me laugh.

This year's piece came about as a result of realizing one day this winter just how disheveled our home was. I had come from a car that was muddy and dirty from too slushy, wet days. The front hallway was dirty with melting puddles and the tracks leading from them. Neither of us had swept the kitchen floor or even wiped off the table that day. As for vacuuming the carpet or clearing the coffee tables, that thought was beyond our scope. For a brief moment I was overwhelmed, and then I remembered Carl Sandburg's poem, "The Grass." 



Rugs, floors, towels, windshields.
Leave them alone and let me work.
    I am the dirt; I cover all.

The windowsills, curtains, baseboards,
The mat at the front door;
Don't do anything and let me work.
    That Sandburg guy aiming for immortality?
I covered him too.

I am the dirt.
Let me work.


Sharon said...

Hi April!
I'm here and I'm reading your poems! Have you ever thought of putting them altogether in a book? Snapfish, and other sites will do it for you! I'm enjoying all of them, and I think you are incredibly talented!!
Looking forward to the rest of April's postings. (No pun intended!)

Did you know that I had a beloved doll growing up that I named "April"! :)!

David Rupert said...

That was pretty creative! I've never read a poem on dirt before :)'

Anonymous said...

Oh I love your parody of Blackbird. I thought you might be interested in the following link, which I share with my students. It is an animation of Stevens poem.

see you there! said...

Your parody is great. I'm really enjoying my poetry lessons here.