monkey see, monkey do

chimpanzee face mural

Having taken the photo of this rather splendid chimpanzee, I was wondering what on earth I could post in the way of text to go alongside it. I’m pretty sure I don’t have any poetry featuring primates other than humans.

But despite having watched Planet of the Apes and knowing that chimpanzees are not monkeys, I post enough tenuous connections and bad puns on the blog to feel that I can get away with making a link via the verb to monkey when used with the meaning to mimic.

Having decided that, all I needed to do was to look in my files for a poem written in the style of, or as a parody, which ought to have been easy enough. The problem is that I have surprisingly few of these, and those I have are mostly mimicking the style of other poets I know personally, rather than the Great and the Good who will be recognised by readers.

Then I remembered seeing this piece among my papers the other day. I have little idea when it was written as it never made it beyond a hand-written jotting.

This Is Just To Say

I have read
the emails
that were in
your drafts folder

and which
you were probably
by mistake

Forgive me
they were personal
so bitter
and so cold

I think the reason I never took it any further was because I really wanted to explore why some of us keep the email drafts we write in anger and then have the good sense not to send, but to do so would have meant changing the poem so it no longer kept so close to the William Carlos Williams original.

I couldn’t do what I wanted within the structure I had chosen, so rather than step outside those self-imposed restrictions I gave up. Which brings us back round to the ape in the mural, who seems to be sitting in a cage he could step out of without the least effort.

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

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