The Mall (an exercise in dactylic hexameter)

To introduce my students to dactyls (-uu), I showed them a pair of famous examples in tetrameter:

All the kings’ horses and all the king’s men

Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

Picture yourself in a boat on a river with
tangerine trees and marmalade skies
Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly, a
Girl with kaleidoscope eyes.

(Well, Lucy in Sky ends with a trimester, but you see the point).

Then, to show them the true classical hexameter, a few lines of (what else?) Longfellow’s Evangeline:

This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks,
Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight

It’s nice to see the substitution of the long for the two shorts before the caesura there.

But it occurred to me that maybe I could write a stanza of my own, so here it goes. It’s entitled “The Mall”:

Sometimes on weekends it’s boring, and people prefer to go shopping. 

Off to the mall they will trudge then, searching for all kinds of items–

shirts at American Eagle, or stuff from the Build-a-Bear Workshop. 

“Try on some Vans at Foot Locker?” Your friend might ask you and then say, 

“Man, Abercrombie’s expensive. Let’s just go hang at the food court.” 

Slices of pizza from Sbarro, a grande iced latte from Starbucks,

Maybe bump into some others, looking for something to do now.

This is the way of the suburbs, the empty allure of the knick-knacks, 

Capitalism’s repair for the alienation it causes.

About Uncomely and Broken

I am a classicist in Sewanee, Tennessee.
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