Torch:U.S. LXV Spring 2016 - Page 17


Poetry · Torch:U.S. · Spring 2016

Of faméd feats and bold renown I sing,

Of deathless deeds and dreams of legends ring,

In mystic land of kings of bovine note,

Of Tartarean heats this land ‘twas bespoke.

In the town “San Antiono” battle fell.

The bright contest-bell echoed fierce and well,

Legions of youths for prize rabid did swarm,

To stay in rooms too small for mice, called dorms,

Titan athletes from Cheesehead regions came,

From capes of Cod venturéd brains not lame,

Students sly and bold from Florida hailed,

Fearful Canad’ians from contest did bail.

But first of all were Virginia’s great nerds,

Who stood godlike over the striving herd,

Each a paragon of Classical skills,

Their foes seemed destined to be drilled.

Of these mighty warriors one stood foremost,

A Certamen player led this great host.

As well, in arts Creative did compete,

His savage rivals in all fields should weep.

Orations the first morning he did make,

To rally the crowds for Virginia’s sake,

Though in wailing Spirit his voice was lost,

And doomed to sound like Batman as the cost,

To vic’try in this test his state he led,

And for them won a great cactus whose head,

Air-filled, Atlas-ed a cowboy hat red.

In a rasped growl, caused his foes to dread,

A dramatic speech he gave, judges gasped,

In Anglic tongues, lecturéd foes he thrashed,

Aloud works of Latin poets he read,

And wrote myths and histories famed, ‘tis said,

Literary wizardry his to claim,

For this, earned a ribbon, sign of his reign.

In contests Graphic, a lesser talent his,

Scholar, speaker, Certamen master is,

But still a leonid mosaic the prize won,

A sicarian, like Brutus’ deadly one,

A stack of photos, true and changed, he brought,

Images bent by the power he wrought,

And clay-forged pot as well, all were praiséd,

When on the final day the scores were raised.

But these petty amusements, not for one,

Of whom sagas told the deeds he had done,

Only one test could showcase his great skill,

In king Certamen the crowds he would thrill.

Three worthy cohorts followéd his lead,

One historian, known for knowledge and speed,

As well, a wrestler in scholastic year,

Learned throws and passage of thrones with cheer.

To answer Latin questions without fear,

Two, who proved themselves when danger stood near,

Slaying ablative beasts from which folk fled,

Felled a gerund fiend that left others dead.

As first round drew near, passers-by could hear,

The comrades chanting, into their minds sear,

Secrets from their coach, Hydra’s wisdom told,

Of how vict’ry to snatch from rivals bold.

The time was now, buzzers in brave hands held,

The first question read, who could answer tell,

‘Twas the demigod captain of the host,

Who with blazing speed his poor foes did toast,

And for his Virginia the points did win,

Is such great, nay, awesome skill not a sin?

This the cry of players from other teams,

Again and again the scene played, a fan’s dream,

To see their champion lead them to the prize,

The second round, the same before their eyes.

Like a warrior of myth, battle he won,

A trophy for his proud state’s greatest son.

Panicking rivals fiendish plot did scheme,

For triumph in fair match they could not dream,

When this master of facts eldritch opposed,

So while, in beds cardboard, heroes doze,

A plague odious in Virginian dorms spread,

Causing sickness of stomach and of head,

To this base attack the leader succumbed,

Met his mates, who for certain triumph hummed,

And then his kingly guts he did upchuck,

Seeing this, his team cursed their curséd luck,

In the third round, first place they failed to claim,

But into semifinals strode, though lamed.

His head cephalopod familiar wore,

But even this could not even the score,

When skilled adversaries stood in menace,

With the finest hamstrung, the team finished.

N.B. This is based on the true story of what happened at NJCL Convention in San Antonio this past year. “Antiono” is not a misspelling, that’s what was printed on the nametags.

Alexander Pope Parody

By Ryan Klopp