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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Paradise Retailed

For a bit of fun we were challenged by the Bournemouth Poet Laureate James Manlow to write a glosa.

The glosa is a poetic form developed in Renaissance Spain. The opening quatrain is taken from the work of another poet that we want to acknowledge.  This is followed by four stanzas, each of which is generally ten lines long, that elaborate or "glosses" on the cabeza chosen. Each ending line (10th line) of the four following stanzas is taken from the cabeza.  I’ll leave you to guess which poet I am paying tribute to. (The spelling is as in the original.)

Paradise Retailed

The World was all before them, where to choose
Thir place of rest, and Providence thir guide:
They hand in hand with wandring steps and slow,
Through Eden took thir solitarie way.

That dewy morn among the endless shelves
Of Tesco, ASDA or that other one,
That adamantine chain with carpark dire
The dismal Situation waste and wilde
No light but rather darkness visible
Each hell more sulphrous than the other ones
As far remov’d from God and light of heav’n
As any fruit flown in from Afric’s shore,
They took the easy path through racks of booze
The World was all before them.  Where to choose?

Then pausing, sought a respite from the crush
But found Another hell with queues that stretched
Nine times the space that measures Day and Night.
The pimpl’d youth, he with his horrid crew
That witness’d huge affliction and dismay
Mixt with obdurate pride and stedfast hate:
Allowed them precious little time to choose
Designless from the list and thus they sate
And contemplating Eden side by side
Thir place of rest, and Providence thir guide:

Then back among the throng in effort wide
A struggle Just to snatch an apple from the shelf
Among the jars and jaffas and the jeans
Our parents’ parents struggled with the lines
For all the world like serpents at the tills.
They stood enrapt by horrid writhing scrums
With hundreds and with thousands trooping came.
They shook their heads and headed for the door.
Whilst others pushed and shoved just anyhow
They hand in hand with wandring steps and slow,

At last had gain’d the portals of that place.
The outer world seem’d now a beauteous park
Like  paradise regain’d In contrast stark.
The gleaming chariots in lines array’d
To carry off the booty from the store.
Our Adam and his Eve from seeming hell
Had ’scaped th’eternal madness of that place,
Eschewed the driven path that others took,
Envelop’d in the blessed aer of day,
Through Eden took thir solitarie way.

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