Saturday, January 23, 2010

Knee-high to a Grasshopper

Jiminy Cricket! That was me
When my legs were heading
Into the final stretch.

Never figured out why
They had to up and stop
Dead in their tracks

Soon as they came to
The nearest knee patch.

2 comments:

  1. I love the opening here Vassilis, but I'm not quite sure about the ending. I don't think I understand it.

    My thick mind I'm ashamed to say, or is it just that I'm distracted by the image of Jiminy cricket, an animated insect in a suit coat, with a fo=b watch as I recall. Jiminy cricket, the voice of conscience, with a twangy American drawl, a la Walt Disney.

    See how far I've gone off on a tangent. sorry.

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  2. Dear Elisabeth,

    Thanks for your comments but there’s certainly no need to apologize for something that was my fault, to wit: sometimes poets are guilty of writing a little too opaquely by using images that are perhaps too private, thus preventing a reader from making the necessary leap into understanding a poem. In this case, the “nearest knee patch” refers to an actual patch that my mom had sewn onto one of my battered jeans. I hoped my reader would get a mental picture of a short, albeit grownup man imagining a very small boy agonizing over the fact that he would never grow up to be very tall! Jiminy Cricket was selected because the phrase is used here not only as an interjection but also because he was a short but intelligent insect, and because I also wanted to connect him with the poem’s title. Hope that makes this particular poem easier to understand!

    There are also other images at work in this poem which make it “darker” than it seems on the surface but perhaps we should leave them as they are.

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