Who You Callin' Slithy?
Epater Les Bourgeois Avec Moi Ce Soir?

Stupid Poetry Tricks

This is what comes of driving for hours to and from San Diego while thinking about the numerous comments (numbering at least 30 as this is typed) to Aaron Haspel's critique of the weaknesses disclosed upon examining P.B. Shelley's Ozymandias.  Somehow those thoughts resulted in the following, a patently frivolous paraphrase of the poem that emerged in a style reminiscent of rap and Dr. Seuss, with a dash of folk ballad for flavor, and incorporates some of the commenters' principal themes:

Trunkless But Not Funkless

Before you get huffy or puffed up and pious,
Let me tell you a story ‘bout Ozymandias
That I heard from a fellow just passing though
From a land that’s distant and far from new.
He says: “Out on the dunes where the vipers lay their eggs
There’s an Olmec-size head and two smokestack legs
Been standing there alone for thousands of years
And the face on that head both frowns and sneers
-- not easy to do, but the sculptor was keen
To capture with his hands what his heart had seen --
And underneath his sandals on the plinth’s displayed
This motto: ‘Be afraid, be very afraid,
For I’m Ozymandias and I’ll take no guff
From you other despots who think you’re tough;
Just look at me, fools, you’ll never live up
To my power or achievements, so just give up.’
Now he lays in the dust in the dunes and the heat,
Just a cracked up head and two blasted feet.
I can’t say if it’s Shelleyan or faintly Byronic,
But the moral of my story is: ‘Ain’t that ironic?’”


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