Bible Discussion: The Martyr Poem

The Martyr Poem
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Matthew Montchalin
2004-06-08 05:00:39 EST
The seats were stone, and there they sat,
a series of men in chains,
now some were skinny, some were fat,
but none of them noble saints-

Tomorrow "one on one" they'd fight
perhaps with a sword or spear;
they'd fight with all their strength and might
without a trace of fear-

The night descended on the room,
a torch was lit outside,
and shadows from it spelled their doom
from which not one could hide.

So there they sat, when one did say,
he welcomed tomorrow's battle,
"But think of this, now, come what may,
you know we're just like cattle:

No sooner there than driven out,
we're made to lunge and leap
but what I crave without a doubt
is merely eternal sleep."

That said he shook his shaved off head,
and muttered, what was the use
of lying down upon that bed
when staring at all those clues-

He pointed at the walls of stone,
the drawings that another
had carved thereon when all alone,
a prayer for a fallen brother.

He could not read but knew the walls
displayed the words they told him,
An Angel comes and when it calls
it's coming there to hold him.

You see, he pointed, there and there,
the stone has carved inscriptions,
the strangest symbols there, I swear,
stick figures or descriptions-

And then he stood with energy
and pointed at the signs,
it's here - it's there - oh, don't you see?
it's carved there in those lines.

You know, they say, that delta's this,
or maybe that is rho,
omega, mu - it's hit or miss -
but this I swear I know:

Each day, each day - no guarantee -
the price of living's high
the price we'll pay will someday be
much higher when we die.

Why pay a price that grows and grows
by fighting day to day,
by swinging swords and trading blows
with someone you must slay?

And saying that, a silence came
on those who sat there by;
when he declared, it's all the same
if I'm the first to die.

So, friends, tomorrow if you will
come straight up and dispatch me,
for I will stand there for the kill
as an angel's sure to catch me.

(c) 2004
Matthew Montchalin
Portland, OR

Permission to copy is permitted so long as the copyright notice
is retained.


Matthew Montchalin
2004-06-08 05:18:40 EST
|Newsgroups: alt.bible, misc.misc, us.arts.poetry
|Subject: the martyr poem
|
|The seats were stone, and there they sat,
| a series of men in chains,
|now some were skinny, some were fat,
| but none of them noble saints-
|
|Tomorrow "one on one" they'd fight
| perhaps with a sword or spear;
|they'd fight with all their strength and might
| without a trace of fear-
|
|The night descended on the room,
| a torch was lit outside,
|and shadows from it spelled their doom
| from which not one could hide.
|
|So there they sat, when one did say,
| he welcomed tomorrow's battle,
|"But think of this, now, come what may,
| you know we're just like cattle:
|
|No sooner there than driven out,
| we're made to lunge and leap
|but what I crave without a doubt
| is merely eternal sleep."
|
|That said he shook his shaved off head,
| and muttered, what was the use
|of lying down upon that bed
| when staring at all those clues-
|
|He pointed at the walls of stone,
| the drawings that another
|had carved thereon when all alone,
| a prayer for a fallen brother.
|
|He could not read but knew the walls
| displayed the words they told him,
|An Angel comes and when it calls
| it's coming there to hold him.
|
|You see, he pointed, there and there,
| the stone has carved inscriptions,
|the strangest symbols there, I swear,
| stick figures or descriptions-
|
|And then he stood with energy
| and pointed at the signs,
|it's here - it's there - oh, don't you see?
| it's carved there in those lines.
|
|You know, they say, that delta's this,
| or maybe that is rho,
|omega, mu - it's hit or miss -
| but this I swear I know:
|
|Each day, each day - no guarantee -
| the price of living's high
|the price we'll pay will someday be
| much higher when we die.
|
|Why pay a price that grows and grows
from fighting day to day,
|by swinging swords and trading blows
| with someone you must slay?
|
|And saying that, a silence came
| on those who sat there by;
|when he declared, it's all the same
| if I'm the first to die.
|
|So, friends, tomorrow if you will
| come straight up and dispatch me,
|for I will stand there for the kill
| as an angel's sure to catch me.
|
|(c) 2004
|Matthew Montchalin
|Portland, OR
|
|Permission to copy is permitted so long as the copyright notice
|is retained.




David
2004-06-08 05:38:16 EST
Matt,

I am guessing you are a generation outside of me :>)

This is dungeons and dragons sort of stuff. Crikey at that age I was reading
Pinoccio!

Well written. Well crafted.

When I work on my poems i look for the biggest fault and work it up, and
keep doing that.

In this piece this stuck out for me...


> So there they sat, when one did say,
> he welcomed tomorrow's battle,
> "But think of this, now, come what may,
> you know we're just like cattle:


I got the sense that you chose 'cattle' for the rhyme and not to retain the
sense, the flow.

The real art in rhyming work, and something I really struggle with, is to
merge the content
and style so it flows.

One thing which gives me heart and hope is that a lot of the language was
constructed
and maintained by poets !!! and that there are a lot of natural connection
between
content and style...

David.



Helen Bar-Lev
2004-06-08 07:50:05 EST

It seems to me that "cattle" makes the point very well.
Helen
--
Helen Bar-Lev, Artist

www.helenbarlev.com


> Matt,
>
> I am guessing you are a generation outside of me :>)
>
> This is dungeons and dragons sort of stuff. Crikey at that age I was
reading
> Pinoccio!
>
> Well written. Well crafted.
>
> When I work on my poems i look for the biggest fault and work it up, and
> keep doing that.
>
> In this piece this stuck out for me...
>
>
> > So there they sat, when one did say,
> > he welcomed tomorrow's battle,
> > "But think of this, now, come what may,
> > you know we're just like cattle:
>
>
> I got the sense that you chose 'cattle' for the rhyme and not to retain
the
> sense, the flow.
>
> The real art in rhyming work, and something I really struggle with, is
to
> merge the content
> and style so it flows.
>
> One thing which gives me heart and hope is that a lot of the language
was
> constructed
> and maintained by poets !!! and that there are a lot of natural
connection
> between
> content and style...
>
> David.
>
>



Matthew Montchalin
2004-06-08 16:20:16 EST
David wrote:
|I am guessing you are a generation outside of me :>)

Not much different, I think we are about 5 to 10 years apart?

|This is dungeons and dragons sort of stuff.

I suppose it could look like that.

|Crikey at that age I was reading Pinoccio!
|
|Well written. Well crafted.

Thanks!

|When I work on my poems i look for the biggest fault and work it up,
|and keep doing that.
|
|In this piece this stuck out for me...
|
|
|> So there they sat, when one did say,
|> he welcomed tomorrow's battle,
|> "But think of this, now, come what may,
|> you know we're just like cattle:

An assembly line 'slaughterhouse' production, is what I was going for...

|I got the sense that you chose 'cattle' for the rhyme and not to retain
|the sense, the flow.

There aren't THAT many words that rhyme with battle, but consider:

And there we sat when one did say
he welcomed tomorrow's battle,
but last time there my hair turned grey
and now my brains just rattle.

|The real art in rhyming work, and something I really struggle with,
|is to merge the content and style so it flows.
|
|One thing which gives me heart and hope is that a lot of the language was
|constructed and maintained by poets !!! and that there are a lot of
|natural connection between content and style...

When Tertullian wrote his book 'De Spectaculis' he came down against
wrestling and boxing and all kinds of fighting, not just to the death
but any kind of armed and unarmed conflict. The gladiatorial fights
produced so much blood the sand in the arena must have stunk from the
rotting blood. The rotting smell of sulfur dioxide may evoke images
of the god Vulcan and his forge, but to the Christians of the day
it must surely have evoked comparable images of 'hell' or 'gehenna.'


Matthew Montchalin
2004-06-09 17:28:18 EST
|Why pay a price that grows and grows
from fighting day to day,
from swinging swords and trading blows
| with someone you must slay?

|And saying that, a silence came
| on those who sat there by;
|when he declared, it's all the same
| if I'm the first to die.
|
|So, friends, tomorrow if you will
| come straight up and dispatch me,
|for I will stand there for the kill
| as an angel's sure to catch me.

And not long after that, the Romans started using wild animals
to kill off the Christians. It didn't take much to kill them off,
they'd just march the Christians into the staging area, and then
'sic' the animals at them. That may be how we got the word 'sic' -
from the Latin 'sic.' It's Latin for 'thus' or 'lo.'

Anyway, they must have started using animals because it simply
wasn't much sport killing off people that refused to act in their
own self-defense.

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