NaPoWriMo Day 24: Elegy

Today’s challenge is to write an elegy. For some reason I felt the need to experiment with random operations, which I’ll explain after. Here’s the result:


Frigate, pogo, spiroid, you flee our black nimbi,
You come out of our ruckus to enter into glosseme;
And from this monarch your nape radiates to pure sumptuary.
I who knew you in the bedlam of yucca, who loved you,
I who, more than once, in the rarefied beauty of our winnings,
When lost, leaned on your faithful soundness,
I, whitened by deals snowing down on my heart,
I remember tinder gone by, and, dreaming
Of that young pastel that saw our two dazzlings,
Of moorland of stoving, of the resounding crucible,
Of the new article offered to the master shouting : yes,
I listen to this great sublime winking, now faded.

For my elegy, I first translated the one Victor Hugo wrote to his friend, poet Théophile Gautier. Then I replaced each noun with n+6, that is, with the sixth noun after that noun in my dictionary. The resulting poem has much silliness but a few images I like, like the bedlam of yucca and listening to the great sublime winking. And somehow it still captures the relationship between these two poets. Interesting how this elegy is much more about “I” than the addressee.

Here is Hugo’s poem:

A Théophile Gautier

Ami, poète, esprit, tu fuis notre nuit noire,
Tu sors de nos rumeurs pour entrer dans la gloire;
Et désormais ton nom rayonne aux purs sommets.
Moi qui t’ai connu jeune et beau, moi qui t’aimais,
Moi qui, plus d’une fois, dans nos altiers coups d’aile,
Eperdu, m’appuyais sur ton âme fidèle,
Moi, blanchi par les jours sur ma tète neigeant,
Je me souviens des temps écoulés, et, songeant
A ce jeune passé qui vit nos deux aurores,
A la lune, a l’orage, aux arènes sonores,
A l’art nouveau qui s’offre, au peuple criant: oui,
J’écoute ce grand vent sublime évanoui.