Poem ‘Wordspiller’

The Old English epic poem Beowulf is written i...

The Old English epic poem Beowulf is written in alliterative verse and paragraphs, not in lines or stanzas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wordspiller (for Christopher Marlowe)

So you are the spiller of words, almost
as far from me as
Beowulf is to you.

Wordspiller, your crosspose outstands me,
but I backthink
the falling choirs where you sadwalked

your summerwaiting mind, to
when your glories were mere
airthought,

like the Greathallow who once
shorestepped there
to see for himself

your forliving Angles (he oncebethought
angels) and their saxon King
Ethelbert redeemed to newspells that

you mindweighed as truthless.
Now I meet your clearstead gaze; for
the muse which stretchfed you

has not alleaten you yet

poem Β© copyright david f. barker 2012

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29 thoughts on “Poem ‘Wordspiller’

  1. this is very cool david…and i just fell in love with the word sadwalked… will def. go into my treasure chamber of words and heck…why didn’t someone already invent it..glad you did..

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  2. the greathallow shorestepped…my fav of the word pairings…really nice on your scrunched up words…they work well all of them, and i understand them…smiles….the muse has not eaten you all up..nice close too…it will you know…nasty cannibal muses…smiles.

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  3. David, I loved the words you came up with for this piece. I like ‘shorestepped’ a lot; but I really enjoyed the idea of a “wordspiller,” which pretty much is what we all are! I enjoyed your write.

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  4. This is magnificent. I loved the mashing up of words to create new expressions, and the whole idea of Wordspiller is appealing. Isn’t that how it is with the greatest writers and poets. Don’t words spill out their sleeves onto the page as if they are conjured from somewhere other than their selves? The last idea in the poem,
    Now I meet your clearstead gaze; for
    the muse which stretchfed you

    has not alleaten you yet
    also has some deep truth within it. The muse feeds poets and artists, David Barker not least of all, but she also is powerful and eats at them too. They have to be powerful in their presence to survive the feasting to arrive at true poetry, true art.
    This is an interesting, vital work. Tied into Beowulf and the old Anglo Saxon also echoes a resonance that vibrates inside the words and ideas, bringing into the present the feeling of marshlands and beasts hidden beneath waters dark with hiding and fear.

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  5. I should have also said in my above comment that the dedication to Marlowe, tying his time to our time and to Beowulf’s dark time,
    as far from me as
    Beowulf is to you.
    also makes the poem powerful, giving the reader the idea of how poetry and drama over the stretch of history are a stream that helps make up the poetry of civilization. I really like this poem.

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  6. your forliving Angles (he oncebethought
    angels)

    Just wonderful and all the smashed up words aided the tone so well. I’m really enjoying how everyone is stepping out with a new style or aesthetic. The language transported me through time, great stuff!

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  7. Hi David, great new words I loveread here! πŸ™‚ The rich English history has always inspired poets I think. Great!

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  8. First – I really think Marlowe is cool = and there is something of Dr. Faustus in this – selling your soul for this wonderful wonderful language. It is just terrific. So many great combinations that are very meaningful but also lovely to speak. It is really terrific. k.

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  9. Crosspose, backthink and sadwalked all in one verse – that’s beyond the limit of good, that is. That”s something else. A real gem of a write and a delight to read. Many thanks for.

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  10. Wow! Seems you have had your own stylistic experiment my friend! I just love it. It seems sophisticated and nonsensical at the same time. Wonderful word choice!

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  11. “Wordspiller” runs rampant with neologisms; excellent writing,
    to be read very slowly, so as not to get the tongue tied up in the teeth…

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  12. your summerwaiting mind to when your glories were air thought….brilliant David…..i wish i could weave like you…but you are light years ahead….
    stunning this poem

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  13. Love the old Beowulf poem! I had an English teacher who could read it perfectly, accent and everything – it was fantastic to hear!

    I love how you’ve combined your words too “backthinked” is great. πŸ™‚ I love wordplay like this!

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  14. I love the old and middle English verse, studied it as a student eons ago, and so really loved this one. As others have said, your playing with the language is wonderful…one of my favorite phrases is: ‘your summerwaiting mind’.

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