Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Ottava Rima

For this, I really must apologize - this poetry writing is pretty hard and I know the following is ridiculous. This is another poem written to help me study for the GRE literature in English exam.
Ottava Rima consists of 8 line stanzas usually in iambic pentameter rhyming abababcc. Originally used for heroic themes, it also became popular in the mock epic form. I have written a very short, poor quality, mock epic about a reverse mechitsa, which is supposed to be making fun of the idea that it is better for men and women to be separated - not sure if this was successful at all so I thought I'd summarize what I was trying to do up front.
Separation: A Mock Epic

Once upon an evil time that’s past
There was a sanctuary made of stone
Together there the folks would pray and fast
Although the women could not pray alone
A problem which to them seemed large and vast
For their sweet voices sounded like foul groans
When joined with prayer that came from mouths of men
A sound they never have to hear again

The women cried that they were quite concerned
They felt as though in prayer they were distracted
Because instead of heaven their thoughts turned
To the strong tall men to whom they were attracted
And wondered if their advances would be spurned
They desired to see a change, reform enacted
They wished to solve this problem and they prayed
This soul-deep longing heavy on them weighed

But lo! There was a woman young and pure
With muscles taut as wire round her bones
Who cried that co-ed prayer she’d not endure
She did not wish to hear the manly moans
By members of a sex that was impure
By virtue of their cruel Y chromosomes
Who were anchored to the world of everyday
Who could not their spirits lift and fly away

She built a wall between them strong and wide
Of quite strong cardboard sealed with Elmer’s glue
Stepped back from her work and said with pride
Girls, I think we’ve got some prayer to do!
The women laughed with smiles that spread wide
While praying, swaying, chanting Torah too
They sang and read and prayed and taught and learned
Together the other sex they scoffed and spurned

A separation keeps the deep-voiced and the low
Still today in that far of sainted land
Where women are in charge, as well you know
From mingling with the high-voiced and the grand
The men must ask and women must bestow
Permission to eat, pray, or sit, or stand
The land is just its ways are all of peace
The righteous live and joy will never cease

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