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Friday 14 September 2012

The Future in a Glass

Behold! he cries, The man! A man! All men...
In this small glass mankind in essence lies.
Here sleeps our history, sleeps Bethlehem.
Here some new Mary opens future eyes.
Pascal and Gandhi,  all are in this phial:
Mother Theresa, Schweitzer, Wittgenstein,
Ivan the Terrible - mankind most vile,
and mankind saintly, neutral or benign.

"Aha!" a heckler cries to rouse the show,
"you've nothing there but common D.N.A.!"
Not so! says he, this is no single throw,
for with this glass I shape the world my way!
"How do you use it, friend?" the heckler cries.
Like this, he says, and sniffs the glass, and dies.
Written for the dVerse Poets~Pub Form for All prompt by Gay Reiser Cannon


Brian Miller said...

oh wow...did not see that ending coming dave...interesting how you were able to do dialogue in the form as well....it was brutal but i finally birthed something of a sonnet...ha....

bARE-eYED sUN said...

thank you, Dave. :-)

i'm a couple of slices short of a sandwich, still that ephemeral yo no se que is in full effect. kudos!


aprille said...

Oh Dave, what a lovely play you had there with this sonnet. With dialogue no less. I couldn't decide between the three so threw them all in the pot:-)

Shadow said...

what a surprise ending... too much for one person to take, i wonder?

Anonymous said...

Whoa! This is terrific. Kind of fun even though it's also pretty heavy. Certainly the glass held one man's fate, and, for most of us, that's, well, kind of the whole ball of was. Well done. (I especially liked the first part - I don't know what one calls it - but all those famous folks parading!) k.

haricot said...

Each has each way and meaning of death, although our birth are more or less alike each other...

Unknown said...

Like Brian I did not see the end coming - intriguing! The dialogue worked so well and the scientist in me loved seeing D.N.A. as an end rhyme (my thesis involved identifying primers for plant DNA to determine genetic relatedness).

Beachanny said...

A perfect sonnet - Elizabethan. And the subject as noble as any royal. Life, the creator, the creation, earth - the phial. All invented, all in flux, all a magic show of life/ death/ resurrection - of invention and re-invention and you did it in 14 lines, perfect iambic pentameter, and a huge surprising turn at the volta! WOW! I bow to you!

Claudia said...

dang (sorry...) just so surprised how you end this.. what an unusual work...think this is the first sonnet i read that has a dialogue in it...well done

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

What a great blow of an ending in a stunning sonnet.

Sabio Lantz said...

I am not sure how many commentors "understood" your sonnet. I don't. But I feel so damn close -- it is such a tease -- like if I read it a bit more, I'd get it.

I love the form and the dialogue with the form.
But what the hell, I will takes stabs at the meaning:
DNA contains what makes us all -- a small bundle, a vial.
The man says, it may seem all the same but the richness is in the variety of folks it can create.
The man is apparently God, no?
The heckler gets God to commit suicide by taking in the DNA himself.
Thus the incarnation and sacrifice of Jesus (thus the reference to Bethlehem?)

There, I tried. When I try, it means I enjoyed it. Hope you don't mind my profane effort. :-)

Elephant's Child said...

I loved the distinction between neutral and benign. And yes, I too would hazzard a guess that the entirity is too much for any individual to bear.
I am going away thinking. Thank you for that.

Mary said...

Good sonnet, Dave; but truly the ending took me by surprise! (which is a mark of good poetry)

Linda said...

You have a tremendous talent; thank you so much for sharing it with us.

Dulcina said...

What an unexpected end!
Excellent sonnet, timeless.
This is poetry, man!

Cloudia said...

some inter galactic Prospero plants the human race to mixed reviews-

Aloha from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

> < } } ( ° >

hyperCRYPTICal said...


Read this yesterday and came back as I wasn't sure I'd left a comment.

Again perfect, beautifully written Dave.

Anna :o]

Dave King said...

Thanks. Yes, I did wonder about doing dialogue - afterwards!

No, thank you! Didn't think I'd manage it at first.

Yes, you're right, it was a rather enjoyable play.

Something like that, yes. Much thanks.

Thank you so much for this, and no, Idon't know what you call the first part. Or if it has a name. Must look into this!

Very ture, like happiness and misery, so it is said.

Hi Anna. Welcome to the blog and many thanks for the visit and interesting comments.

Wow from me now! Grateful thanks for all the kind words. I really do appreciate them - though a little unsure how adequately to reply!

Let you into a secret: as I wrote it actually didn't occur that I was doing anything unusual! It struck me, though, as soon as I'd posted.

Thanks for saying Tommaso. I think I really needed these reassurances.

Hi and a big, warm welcome to the blog. Sorry to have caused you so much confusion. The man is a showman, a charlatan on a par with a snake oil salesman. DNA contains what makes us all, but my assumption was that if it had been D.N.A. in the phial, it would have been but a single genome. I did originally intend to state or imply that, but later decided it was too much explanation.

Far from minding your effort, I welcome it - and don't consider it profane. Thanks for.

The Elephant's Child
Thank you for your encouraging comment.

Thanks. Very much appreciated.

My thanks to you for your exceptionally kind words.

Wow! Three splendid compliments in one! Thank you so much.

Oh, do I like this remark or do I like this remark? Thank you so much.

Sabio Lantz said...

@ Dave,
Thanks for the reply, mate. And thank you for the "Welcome"!

You said, "Sorry to have caused you so much confusion."

That seems the problem with the poetry blogs I have read. You can't tell by the comments if people really understand your poem or not. They all say it is nice and "Wow, surprise ending". But you really have no idea how it really struck them.

So no need to be sorry for confusion to me -- maybe everyone had it. And maybe confusion is fun and helpful.

Anyway, so my religious take was way off the mark, eh?

Why does the charlatan commit suicide. Why would DNA kill him? Still all kinds of unanswered questions. Or where you just being playful?

Thanx for your time. It was indeed a fun poem.

A Cuban In London said...

The ending was great, and very unpredictable! :-) Many thanks.

Greetings from London.

Dave King said...

Sometimes readers will see things in a poem that the author didn't realise were there. Sometimes they will see things differently. A frequent source of confusion, this. I am quite relaxed about different interpretations.

A Cuban in London
Thanks for saying so.