Thursday, May 16, 2019

Poem For A Thursday: Disch



Ballade of the New God

I have decided I'm divine
Caligula and Nero knew
A godliness akin to mine,
But they are strictly hitherto.
They're dead, and what can dead gods do?
I'm here and now. I'm dynamite.
I'd worship me if I were you.
A new religion starts tonight! 
No booze, no pot, no sex, no swine:
I have decreed them all taboo.
My words will be your only wine,
The thought of me your honeydew.
All other thoughts you will eschew.
You'll call yourself a Thomasite
And hymn my praise with loud yahoo.
A new religion starts tonight. 
But (you might think) that's asinine!
I'm just as much a god as you.
You may have built yourself a shrine,
But I won't bend my knee. Who
Asked you to be my god? I do,
Who am, as god, divinely right.
Now you must join my retinue:
A new religion starts tonight. 
All that I have said is true.
I'm god and you're my acolyte.
Surrender's bliss. I envy you.
A new religion starts tonight.

-Tom Disch

Tom Disch is better known as a science fiction writer, but he was also a bravura formal poet. He died, alas, a suicide, in New York in 2008.

That's two ballades in three weeks. It's not always a comic verse form--"Oh, where are the snows of yesteryear?"--but somehow it seems to be one now.

Jennifer at Holds Upon Happiness has Robert Graves this week.

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