Sorry for the hiatus, guys! I’m working on my thesis, so updates might be a little erratic for a month or two. Anyhow, in the spirit of Halloween, here’s a quick poetry lesson on a little known poetic form:
Uh, no. Not exactly.
The Grue is short for the word gruesome, which is the only real qualification for a grue poem. No syllabic counts or specific rhyme schemes, a grue need only be three things: short, amusing and dark.
To help you visualize that, a grue is basically a poem that sounds like it should be narrated by Lemony Snicket and illustrated by Edward Gorey.
Let’s take a look at a few examples:
My son, Augustus, in the street, one day,
Was feeling quite exceptionally merry.
A stranger asked him; “Can you show me, pray,
The quickest way to Brompton cemetery?”
“The quickest way? You bet I can,” said Gus,
And pushed the fellow underneath a bus.
Whatever people say about my son,
He does enjoy his little bit of fun.
Disturbing? Oh, yeah. Hilarious. Definitely. Now, here’s a more famous one:
Lizzie Borden with an axe
Hit her father forty whacks;
When she saw what she had done,
She hit her mother forty-one.
Sometimes, grues are also known as “Little Willie Poems” and star a character named Little Willie, a delightful little sociopath who commits homicide for the lolz.
Into the cistern little Willie
Pushed his little sister Lily
Father couldn’t find his daughter
Now we sterilize our water
- Yale Review
Little Willie, reckless laddie,
Ran an ice pick into Daddy.
Mother smiled and smoothed her hair–
“Now we’ll get a frigidaire.”
- Nevada State Journal
Though, occasionally, darling Willie is just another victim.
If Pa had not taught Will to drive,
Poor Willie might be still alive.
Now Pa’s remorse cannot be cured:
The car and Will were not insured.
– Lola Russo
Don’t take the grue too seriously, it’s all in good fun! If you would like to read more Grues and Little Willies, check out Ruthless Rhymes. You can even submit your own!
Have a Happy Halloween, Tumblr! And do be careful…
(Come on, did you really think I was survive this whole post without a Zork reference? Really?)
WOW POLYTHEISM, TRULY GRAND, A TRUE GRAND NARRATIVE
WHICH THE WHOLE FAMILY CAN BELIEVE IN////////////////////
I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY THEY DON’T SELL IT AT JML YET
TOMORROW I BUY TICKETS FOR A TRIP TO A PLACE CALLED:
”V E R Y D I S T A N T”
I HOPE MY MONEY FEELS GOOD IN SOMEONE ELSES HANDS
REALLY HOPE IT FEELS GOOD
HA HA HA, WELL,
TODAY HAS BEEN A DAY FOR YOUR BARBARIAN!
YOU WITH YOUR PRIZE :)
AS A FATHER TO EIGHTY FIVE FAMILIES
YOU ARE JUST ANOTHER MOUTH TO FEED…
OH WELL IT WILL ALL BE AWAY SOON
IT IS THE END OF WORLD, DID YOU
GET YOUR TICKET?
I’M IN THE FUCKING FRONT ROW
I’LL BE THE FIRST TO GO
Editor’s Note: I rarely see poems play with words and symbols like this. Very interesting!
I sat up, fighting my way out of the dent I had made in the old couch. There was an angel blocking the tv. At least, I assumed he was an angel; the tips of his wings nearly reached each wall. I watched, bemused, as he played with his feathers nervously, picking at a bald spot on the underside of his wing.
“Ah, Mr. S-simmons?” He stuttered as he spoke. “I’m a huge fan, a big fan, I really must say you’re just, ah e-excellent-“
“Wait, you’ve seen my movies? I didn’t think any of them were released.” I was trying to ignore the fact that I was talking to an angel and figure out what was going on. I’m not so sure now that the two were compatible.
“Oh, Lord, not those, I’ve never read a worse script… No, I meant yourlife,Charles.”
“Charlie. And you’ve got the wrong guy. I’m a broke drunk squatting in vacation houses.”
“Well, yes, but you’re aspecialbroke drunk. Y-you’ve been c-chosen, you see.”
I stared at him blankly. The last time I was chosen I still had braces. “I don’t follow.”
“What I mean to say is, you are the savior.”
“T-the second coming of Our Lord and Savior.”
You could practically hear the capitalization. I needed a drink, but this didn’t seem like the best time to check if the previous tenants had left any alcohol. “There’s got to be a mistake here.”
“N-no, I assure you, I-” His eyes glazed over, as though he was looking at something behind the plasterboard walls.
“Hmm. Well. I’m terribly sorry to have bothered you s-sir, but it appears we were looking for your, ah, brother.”
“Bart? I thought he was dead.”
“He is, quite dead, it appears someone got your files swapped. You know how bureaucracy can be… ahem. W-well, excuse me but I must be going.”
He was gone. A few bedraggled feathers floated to the floor. I went looking for that drink.
Editor’s Note: Just another average day.
is quite decieving
ms are the things I can see.
My friends we are dying,
right now there’s no
lying for all that we are can not be. The
sun he is setting and
my parents are fretting but
night will be safe as the day.
In the noon we’ll be holding
our hands as we’re toiling
up to the mountains of grace.
Editor’s Note: A beautiful visual poem!
My starry skies are marred by
Blinking cell phone towers and
Blinking Boeing seven something somethings
And there’s always this sunset that’s
Never just from the west
But all around and it never sets
Would you please tell me
Is that not phenomenal?
Sometimes I can make out constellations
In this perpetual orange and blue
Not too many - But a few
Both the dippers and Orion and
Well, that’s just about it
But someone out there knows
Every single one I don’t
And for a moment, I love the person
Whatever that means
Editor’s Note: It’s unfortunate that it’s difficult to see the stars with all of the streetlights and skyscrapers, but at least we can take comfort in the fact there are a few places that are still isolated enough that stargazers are not a dying race. Wonderful poem!
i. He runs through a forest. His hair is on fire. The wind catches after him.
ii. He sits in a desert. Cold and cool, a dark desert. Everything is gone. But the dunes that shift and change.
iii. He strides through berlin busking guitar in hand.
iv. The stars burst. A black hole forms.
v. The sun eclipses.
vi. The magnolias wither under frost. They are dead forever.
vii. He walks long straight black hair pushed by Hawaii Wind. Digging through the volcano.
Lilacs blossom but die soon after. The flowers all die.
The world is trees and moss. The flowers are gone.
viii. They go to sleep. The story ends.
Editor’s Note: Beautiful imagery! I also love the list format: very creative.