Saturday, October 30, 2010

Alphabet Rebellion


Apparently, Jenny Matlock wants to drive us crazy with this week's random Saturday Centus prompt and its mandated restriction to 50 words and reference to Abraham Lincoln. I think it worked! (The prompt, as always, is in red.)

Alphabet Rebellion: 55 (oops!) Wasted Words

Just returned from heaven;
well, it might've been a dream.
The people there were different than
their earth life made them seem.

Abraham Lincoln was a lot shorter
than I thought he would be...
At least, he was a whole lot shorter
than I thought he should be.

I'm a lot shorter than I oughta be, too.
I guess I'm as short as I gotta be. You?
∞§∞

I needn't tell you, my enlightened readers, that this poem is fraught with deep significance, carefully woven into every turn of phrase and word selection herein. Please feel free to discuss the overlying symbolism and underlying themes of this work in the comments section below. Perhaps the following questions might serve to steer you in the right direction and facilitate discussion:

What does it really mean to be short in a society where height is valued so universally...and (arguably) capriciously? And, given that reality, what are the implications and ramifications of seeming to be taller than one really is? Finally, how does the use of Abraham Lincoln as a focal point strengthen the context of this poem?

Bonus question: Does the individual reader's concept of "heaven" add texture to this piece, and if so, in what way does that construct inform or fail to inform your own interpretation of "Alphabet Rebellion?"

Enjoy!
heehee
;)

DISCLAIMER: Judging from past experience, I should probably add that these questions are definitely tongue-in-cheek. I AM KIDDING HERE! (In blogging, I am frequently taken seriously when my post is anything but.) I think I may need some humor lessons. Or maybe mine is just a bit random and twisted...kinda like this prompt... ;)

PS. If you haven't had a chance yet, please take a look at my story-poem, A Halloween Tale of Terror that I wrote for my grandkids. It's downright spooky! (And I'm NOT kidding on this one!)

29 comments:

Dixie Mom said...

Whoa.
Am I in college again?
I've forgotten how to do this.
But I'm thinking that I do like your play on words so to speak, with heaven and rebellion. Interesting that you chose Abraham Lincoln as your representation of tall and short of stature and heaven and rebellion. Is Mr. Abraham not who we thought he was?

Judie said...

Waaaaaaaa! A pop quiz! I guess people thought that Lincoln was larger than life, so in Heaven he was really shorter. There is nothing wrong with being short! My daughter is only 4'11" and my grandmother was only 5'2". I am taller than both of them at 5'5". My grandmother always looked taller because she was the matriarch of our family. My daughter looks taller because she has such a quick wit, and is so smart.

5thsister said...

And I was just telling my daughter the other day that I was so glad not to be in school. Geesh, Sue! It's Saturday, by gosh, and I don't have to think this deeply! I have pumpkins to carve and costumes to prepare. But I will humor you and give it a quick try:

Maybe Heaven is an illusion based upon our own perceptions of truth and we shouldn't be judging the stature (merits) of others when our own personal stature (standing with God) probably doesn't measure up. And this is coming from one who is vertically challenged, physically, who is doing her darndest to rid her life of all those things that inhibit/prohibit spiritual growth. Whew! There! Done now.

Actually, Sue...in all seriousness, this was really excellent and I appreciated the deeper philosophical challenge you posed.

Kat said...

This was great Sue. You are so creative! Loved the poem. And loved the tongue in cheek assignment even more! Kat

jfb57 said...

Firstly, I love the poem! You are so clever with those. As for the questions, you had me there - I was getting my responses ready! Brill!

Lisa Loo said...

I always feel like a need a translator for my blog posts. The things I write that I think are hilarious people take seriously and the things that are not so funny--the opposite holds true. What is up with that?
Good old Abe.....

Grandma Honey said...

On a serious, note, I really like the line, "The people there were different than
their earth life made them seem."

I really believe we will have that particular thought when we get to the other side. Our understanding of others will be different, more open, more compassionate.

Jess said...

Were you an english teacher at some point? I just had a slightly nauseating flashback of drafts of my papers I'd turn in with "think deeper" or some such nonsense scrawled in red.

I liked the fact that I had to actually think about your poem while I was reading it. I've decided (tongue-in-cheekily) that the narrator must have caught Mr. Lincoln with out his hat on is all.

Viki said...

Loved the poem.

I've seen a lot of studies that short people are not treated as well regarding jobs and the money they make. I think this is terrible. Some companies are probably missing out some great talent. That seems to be how society is though. Also, it seems if your not beautiful and don't have the right color hair, same thing. It's time we stop looking at the outside of people and consider what's on the inside.

yaya said...

I'm so hoping in the next life (I'm also hoping that "next life" is actually Heaven and not...well, you get it) I will be taller than the 5'6 I am now. Of course old age will eventually make me shorter. I'm also hoping the next life will make me thinner and people/spirits will say: "Geezzzz you're tiny!"

Myrna Foster said...

I liked the comment about catching Abraham Lincoln with his hat off. Thanks for sharing the poem, Sue! It was thought provoking, even if you didn't mean for it to be.

karen said...

I was just starting to get that feeling that we couldn't be friends after all when I realized you were kidding. I used to HATE those kinds of questions - especially after I'd just read something I really liked and then was forced to take it apart - praying the whole time that I was dissecting it "correctly."
I'm so relieved that you haven't been reincarnated into an evil lit professor. Enjoyed the poem at face value. Don't care what it all means. So in my book, it's a success! (What it means to me probably wouldn't mean the same to the next person anyway. It's always subjective to our own experiences.) I'm going shopping now.

karen said...

I was just starting to get that feeling that we couldn't be friends after all when I realized you were kidding. I used to HATE those kinds of questions - especially after I'd just read something I really liked and then was forced to take it apart - praying the whole time that I was dissecting it "correctly."
I'm so relieved that you haven't been reincarnated into an evil lit professor. Enjoyed the poem at face value. Don't care what it all means. So in my book, it's a success! (What it means to me probably wouldn't mean the same to the next person anyway. It's always subjective to our own experiences.) I'm going shopping now.

jen said...

School? On a Saturday?

Personally, my view automatically turned to equalization in heaven, and how our spirits will shine larger than our bodies.
But I still think Lincoln will be pretty tall.
And you'll definitely be taller!

Darlene said...

Whew! It looks like some people
DID take you seriously. Perhaps they didn't read the whole post. Honestly, I thought it was hilarious. I loved your thought provoking questions. It sure did remind me of when I was in school disecting all the symbolism of a poem....how I used to hate that. I'm so glad that it was all in fun.

I think it might be fun for some people to know that had you decided to go to work right after you graduated from college that you would have been a French teacher!! I'm glad that you decided to go for the masters and become a psychologist instead. Not that teaching is not a great profession, but think of all the friends and family that wouln't have gotten free counseling.

Darlene said...

I hate it when I type too fast and miss a letter here and there. I really do know how to spell dissecting.

Cheryl said...

Good thing you mentioned you were kidding because I was ready to wax all philosophical on you. Phew! I had a diatribe formulating in my brain since I'm, ahem, tall.

Jackie said...

Lol I loved your poem ! It was really good and I mean it .

Donna said...

I too often just take reading so literally and you really made me think! You are right, I had just written a post about appreciating life and wishing people treated others well so that bullying and terroism were not a part of it. This goes in hand with what you mean, I think. But your mind is soooo way above mine. Symbolism was something I enjoyed interpreting in school, but I've been out too looonnng! You write wonderfully and I can appreciate that if not (able to )keep up with it!

My name is PJ. said...

MWAHAHAHAHAHA! You're insane!!!!!! You would be so gratified to hear me laughing right now.

Deborah said...

Brilliant...all of it, I love your tongue in cheek!!
I tried to leave a comment on one of your other poems but it went to email? I may have clicked on the wrong thing! .. but at least you got it :o)

Jenny said...

I was saddened that your time in heaven was cut short just when...

huh?

Tongue in cheek?

Whhhhatttt???!!!!!

Are you kiddin' me?

ha.

This was great Sue.

I'll go read the scary one now...quickly...before it gets dark!

Malisa said...

Hey, shortie! :) I would have written more but I forgot to bring my Blue Book! :)

I just posted my story. Hope you will stop by and read it.

Malisa

RawknRobynsGoneBlogWild said...

This short woman loves it, Sue. I want to add that Randy Newman's song, Short People, did not improve the image of the short person. How tall is he, I wonder.
xoRobyn

Terra said...

ok, first I loved the poem, you really did well this challenge, second I am so thankful for the disclaimer because I was getting ready to put on my thinking cap and really blast your questions out of the water, but it is 5:30, I have to wake the girls in 30 minutes and I wasn't really feeling up to your challenge! However, you did prompt some thinking whether you meant to or not and that my friend, is COOL

RockiBottom said...

I found your work quite beautiful this week. I truly did!


now as for your humor... i was worried about the prospect of deep discussion there for a mintue! Phwew! It is a bit sad that dry or sarcastic, or even offbeat humor rarely translates well into written word. I have that same problem and tend to be taken in the wrong context A LOT!

cj Schlottman said...

Sue, You devil, you! I adore this poem and all that it stands for, but I must admit that I was dreading doing homework! You got me, Girl!

Great work - as usual..........cj

Tgoette said...

Sue, this was great! I'm loving the poem and the great joke you played afterwards. LOL! Nope, you don't need any humor lessons!

Anna said...

Dear Sue,
Thank you for visiting and commenting on my SC-post.

Clever poem. But I am glad you wrote that this was tongue-in-cheek, because I don't really know how to analyse the symbolism in this poem.

My guess is that you have some things to say about living yur life as a not so tall person. Sitting comfortably at home in front of a home computer, the rest of us have no idea what kind of problems other people have.

Then there is the meaning of the word 'shorter'. 'Shorter' seems to mean several things, both concretely as 'not so tall in height', and something more abstract, that has to do with one's character.

There are a lot of myths about some of the earlier presidents. For some reason there are lots of them about Lincoln. So he is a good choice of prompt, but also a hard one. You did well with this one.
Best wishes,
Anna

For the benefit of other readers:
Anna's SC-Shake-up-post Week 26

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