This is fun. David Lehman, series editor for The Best American Poetry (which has yet to include me–damnation!) posted a sort of poetry game on his blog. Take a line from an existing poem–it’s more fun if it’s a classic poem–and change one letter in one word. Assemble a bunch of those to make a new poem. It’s just a nerdy poet’s game, something to be done in a pub with other nerdy poet friends, but it’s fun nonetheless. It’s also a good way to pass the time at work when you’re supposed to be, um, working. Out of necessity I altered the rules a bit to allow the addition of one letter if just the changing of one letter doesn’t work. I know, that makes me a cheater. I don’t do crossword puzzles for that reason.
Here’s a go at it (thanks to Milton, Blake, Homer, Pound, Arnold and Wright ):
Sing, oh Heavenly Mouse, that on the secret top,
dost thou know who bade thee
give me fare well, and stain the hound with wine?
There can be but one bordello.
A cry like thine in mine own heart I fear:
I have wasted my lice.