Drama 101
 
Belief in righteousness began the harm;
Fanaticism breeds most violence:
See Beowulf remove poor Grendel’s arm
To conquer (from his view) malevolence.
 
In Europe roving minstrels told such tales
Till only telling proved too unexciting.
The stage then gave us gallows, racks and flails,
With red tableaux and savage kinds of fighting.
 
Then celluloid evoked a better medium,
 
Belief in righteousness began the harm;
Fanaticism breeds most violence:
See Beowulf remove poor Grendel’s arm
To conquer (from his view) malevolence.
 
 
VBelief in righteousness began the harm;
Fanaticism breeds most violence:
See Beowulf remove poor Grendel’s arm
To conquer (from his view) malevolence.
 
In Europe roving minstrels told such tales
Till only telling proved too unexciting.
The stage then gave us gallows, racks and flails,
With red tableaux and savage kinds of fighting.
 
Then celluloid evoked a better medium,
As cameras out for blood now went to wars;
But even soldiers dropping proved a tedium,
So grosser scenes were framed by movie czars,
 
With modern Beowulfs, now G. I. Joes,
Arriving on the huge, ear-splitting screens
To roast with flames a thousand foreign foes
And blow —in color —brains to smithereens.
 
The thrill so great the need for message paled,
And only cataclysm was the aim;
But  even crashing  continents then staled
And only warring planets gained acclaim.
 
Then God who watched now raged at what they’d done.
“I see that tumults what you crave!” He roared,
And sent the earth careening toward the sun . . .
While people drawled, “I hope we won’t be bored.”

(1995)

quatrains drama criticism

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