Tuesday, August 08, 2006

An Epic Poem

Fresh from my encounter the other day, I have produced a poem about hedgehogs. It is a harrowing poem - at once tender and ferocious. I don't mind telling you that it took a lot out of me. I should point out that the metre of the poem is deliberately erratic - it is written in controlled-semi-free-form style. This style is meant to evoke the emotional turmoil of the poem's narrator - the intensity of his experiences of love, physical transformation and righteous fury. If I'd wanted to write it in a more conventional metrical pattern I could have done that easily.

The Man Who Loved Hedgehogs

O lovely hedgehog!
I think you are so sweet,
With your pointed snuffly nose,
And your scamp'ring tiny feet.

O brave hedgehog!
Hunting worm and toad,
Come to my garden by all means,
But please don't cross the road.

O clever hedgehog!
Foxes you outwit,
When you curl into a ball,
And spread your spines a bit.

O noble hedgehog!
Would that I were you,
I'd hurry through the undergrowth,
And munch on my own poo.

O dearest hedgehog!
Look! I'm growing claws,
Now sprouting spines from out my back,
I drop onto all fours.

O fellow hedgehog!
From men's* comp'ny I'll take flight,
And we'll hunt for bugs together,
And scurry through the night.

O lover hedgehog!
They say that I'm 'unwell',
They're calling me a 'monster',
And locked me in a cell.

Come brother hedgehogs!
Rescue me tonight,
Bust me from these prison walls,
With your hedgehog might.

Now warrior hedgehogs!
Now it is our time!
Avenge our fallen brethren,
And all flattened hedgehog crime!

Yes deadly hedgehogs!
sharpen fang and claws,
And with furious squeaks,
We'll fall on them,
And drive them from these shores!

* Note - I would have preferred the non sex specific term 'humans' but it wouldn't fit neatly.

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