Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Perverse: "A Litany of Seas"

A perverse is created by combining half of one line of poetry with half of another.

The following example was created by taking six pairs of lines from canonical poems, splitting each pair in half, and joining the first half of the first line with the second half of the second (and vice versa). As indicated by the poem's title, the end word of each line is "sea." Citations can be found below.

“A Litany of Seas”

We have lingered in the tragic-gestured sea,
The ever-hooded chambers of the sea,
By man and beast and by the winter sea.

Among the mountains, earth and air and sea,
She sang beyond the rising of the sea.

Have sight of Proteus, genius of the sea,
By night, with noises, if the freshening sea
Were a delight; and of the northern sea,
And bowery hollows of our western seas,
That have the frenzy crowned with summer sea.

Feast them upon the kisses of the sea,
Under the quick faint wideness of the sea.


Lines 1 and 2: T.S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”
Wallace Stevens, “The Idea of Order at Key West

Lines 3 and 4: Percy Bysshe Shelley, “Adonais”
Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “Morte d’Arthur”

Lines 5 and 6: Wallace Stevens, “The Idea of Order at Key West
William Wordsworth, “The World Is Too Much With Us”

Lines 7 and 8: Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “Morte d’Arthur”
Lord Byron, “Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, A Romaunt”

Lines 9 and 10: Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “Morte d’Arthur”
William Butler Yeats, “Michael Robertes”

Lines 11 and 12: John Keats, “On the Sea”
Percy Bysshe Shelley, “Epipsychidion”