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 comments

  1. claudia · June 23, 2012

    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..

    Like

  2. brian miller · June 23, 2012

    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.

    Like

  3. dfb · June 23, 2012

    Thanks Brian!!!

    Like

  4. dfb · June 23, 2012

    I’m very relieved you liked it Claudia! – bit of a change for me.. this one. πŸ™‚

    Like

  5. Laurie Kolp · June 23, 2012

    Love theWordPairings… strong piece.

    Like

  6. darkangelwrites · June 23, 2012

    So many fun new words… can’t pick a favorite.

    Like

  7. Mary · June 23, 2012

    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.

    Like

  8. Heaven (@asweetlust) · June 23, 2012

    Creative title and word play…I like:
    the muse which stretchfed you
    has not alleaten you yet

    http://a-sweetlust.blogspot.ca/2012/06/windswept.html

    Like

  9. Thomas Davis · June 23, 2012

    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.

    Like

  10. Thomas Davis · June 23, 2012

    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.

    Like

  11. Anna Montgomery · June 23, 2012

    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!

    Like

  12. Mama Zen · June 24, 2012

    Very cool!

    Like

  13. soulsongsharonlee · June 24, 2012

    Ooo gorgeous imagergy!

    Like

  14. Ina · June 24, 2012

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

    Like

  15. Pete Armetta · June 24, 2012

    Such a delicious sounding tangle of words here but, and so English of you too haha love it.

    Like

  16. ManicDdaily · June 24, 2012

    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.

    Like

  17. David King · June 24, 2012

    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.

    Like

  18. ds · June 24, 2012

    Wordspiller, you came up with lovely stuff. Marlowe is bowing, and Joyce is tipping his hat…

    Like

  19. zongrik · June 24, 2012

    the clearstead gaze goes with the guy wearing the t-shirt!! LOL πŸ™‚

    bonus track

    Like

  20. Betty Hayes Albright · June 24, 2012

    Fascinating and creative – and interesting how reading words that are put together in unusual ways (shorestepped!) evokes such vivid images!

    Like

  21. Louise Jaques · June 25, 2012

    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!

    Like

  22. Lindy Lee · June 25, 2012

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

    Like

  23. rangewriter · June 27, 2012

    This is wonderful. Fun, airy, clever, and above all, beautifyl rhythm and word pairings.

    Like

  24. dfb · June 27, 2012

    Thanks very much Linda!

    Like

  25. dfb · June 27, 2012

    Thank you!!!

    Like

  26. Soma Mukherjee · June 28, 2012

    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

    Like

  27. dfb · June 28, 2012

    Thank you Soma!!!

    Like

  28. Eve Redwater · June 28, 2012

    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!

    Like

  29. bardessdmdenton · July 2, 2012

    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’.

    Like

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