Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Winter Hopes

Wherein what is DEAD is brought to LIFE

[This piece incorporates the solution to a "doublet" or "word ladder" word puzzle, in which one word is changed into another by successive steps of altering one letter at a time. Each intermediate step must also be an actual word. The original concept was invented by Lewis Carroll in the 1800's. The DEAD/LIFE pairing is my own. I thought I would attempt to make the solution into a poem. You may want to try to solve it yourself before reading my poem, which gives one of several possible solutions. The original rules, as given by Carroll, involve competing to come up with the fewest number of steps. My solution has 23 steps, and so there are 24 lines in the poem. Technically, the steps in lines 11 and 21 are not needed but I included them for the structure of the piece. There is an alternate solution with only 18 steps.]

O DEAD world, will you heed my call?
Are you DEAF, can you hear me at all?
The LEAF is brown, the year is old,
the horse is LEAN, the weather cold.
The summer months called in their LOAN,
the LOON gives one last mournful moan.
LOOK! The geese are flying away,
the black-cloaked ROOK alone will stay.
As hard as ROCK this earth will be
and stay a while under LOCK and key.
Good LUCK to all, and may all take heed
who enter this time of LACK and need.
Queen Anne's LACE will not grow there
along the swift RACE of waters fair.
When the RAKE has gathered leaves,
a WAKE is held and each tree grieves
and waits cold months until a WAVE
of blessëd warmth returns to SAVE
this world from the CAVE of winter drear
and brings us all into a COVE of cheer.
In trees will be heard the coos of the DOVE
and lilies will nod in zephyrs of LOVE.
The robins will sing because they LIVE,
as the earth springs forth with LIFE to give.


Chris said...

I found your blog through the writing forums> I have to say this is this is the best thing I have done on the internet all year..Amazing word play!

Todd said...

thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it - it was fun to write. I also posted this piece on the forums.