Sunday, September 07, 2008

Puzzling Atheists #7: Christian Zombie Poem

Isaiah 26:19
Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.

1 Corinthians 15:52
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
A few atheist bloggers seem to think it's clever to post famous poems, as if the rest of us would never deign to look at literature unless it's transmitted on a freethinker's Web site. I decided that I'd join in their fun, and publish a well-known masterpiece for my readers to learn. However, my memory not being what it used to be, I couldn't manage to recite an entire poem, no matter how hard I tried. All I managed to wind up with was a brand new example of doggerel, cobbled together from lines that originally appeared in other pieces of verse. Your simple job is to identify, by line, each work and its author.

Christian Zombie Poem
  1. The grave’s a fine and private place,
  2. all by all and deep by deep,
  3. And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout,
  4. Tossing their heads in sprightly dance,
  5. That sleepen al the night with open ye —
  6. Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight,
  7. In the forests of the night,
  8. Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
  9. They took some honey, and plenty of money,
  10. For ever warm, and still to be enjoy’d,
  11. And seemed as they would ask me, if they durst,
  12. “Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
  13. Food, glorious food!”
  14. I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world,
  15. “Surely the the Second Coming is at hand!
  16. I’m afraid you must wait and have dinner tomorrow."
  17. Because I could not stop for Death,
  18. I go, I go; look how I go.
  19. Run, run, run, run, runaway.
  20. I doubted if I should ever come back.
  21. You might as well live.

Please identify only one line and its author per comment. And no cheating by resorting to Google; you're on your honor.

[Update: Correct answers (as of 09/11/08, 3:15 a.m. EDT) — 1. Gareth McCaughan; 2. Lynet (title), yunshui (author); 3. Evo (title), Gareth McCaughan (author); 4. Gareth McCaughan; 5. yunshui; 6. Lynet; 7. Eric Haas; 8. yunshui; 9. Lynet; 10. Lynet; 12. Eric Haas; 13. chappy; 14. yunshui; 15. yunshui; 16. Lynet; 17. Gareth McCaughan; 18. yunshui; 19. Eric Haas; 20. yunshui (title), Lynet (author); 21. Gareth McCaughan (author only)]

59 comments:

the chaplain said...

#13 is from the musical, Oliver.

#19 is from a Dick and Jane primary school reader.

the chaplain said...

Oops. I forgot the authors. #13 is by Lionel Bart. #19 is by the ever-faithful and prolific anonymous (or should be, as I can't imagine anyone wanting to take credit for writing those wretched primers).

The Exterminator said...

chappy:
Oops. I forgot the authors.
You also forgot to identify only one line and its author per comment. Fortunately, while you're right on number 13, you're wrong on number 19. I think you may have gotten it confused with a page from My First Political Primer:
Look, John, look. Look, look, look. See Sarah run. Run, run, run.

Larro FCD said...

I'm at a loss. I don't know poetry from different types of plastic molecules.

Anonymous said...

#17
...he kindly stopped for me.

Plath? Dickenson? I can't remember!

The Exterminator said...

Larro:
Holy shit. You anticipated my next puzzle: Name That Plastic Molecule.

Anonymous:
I can't remember!
You seem to have forgotten your own name, too. I commiserate with your plight.

Eric Haas said...

#7 is from Tyger, by William Blake.

Eric Haas said...

#12 is from Jabberwocky, by Lewis Carroll.

Eric Haas said...

#19 is from Runaway by Jefferson Starship.

The Exterminator said...

Eric:
Correct on numbers 7 and 12 (although the Blake poem is actually entitled "The Tyger.") Number 19 is interesting: I checked the words to the Jefferson Starship song, and you're correct -- if you can name the author of the lyrics. (Or was it the entire Starship working communally?) Oddly, however, I had an entirely different verse in mind for line 19, so I'll also give credit to anyone who can tell me its title and author.

John Evo said...

Number 3 is "Casey at the Bat", showing the depth of my knowledge of verse.

The Exterminator said...

Evo:
"Casey at the Bat" is correct. So there's joy in Mudville after all. I'm disappointed, though, because I thought for sure you'd get the other answer to number 19.

yunshui said...

8 is Ozymandias, by Shelley. Love that poem.

yunshui said...

14 is Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself"

yunshui said...

And 15 is Yeats' "Second Coming", which is also one of my faves.

I'll stop now.

Lynet said...

16 is from 'Mungojerrie and Rumpleteaser' by T. S. Eliot.

I was going to say 17, but it's sort of already been said, hasn't it?

Oh, and by the way, I have to say I rather like Ridger's steady stream of poems to look at. And I only posted 'The Sea-Child' because it's been on my mind for months, ever since I knew I was leaving. I know I said it wasn't a proper post, but that was sort of a lie.

Lynet said...

6 is from Dylan Thomas' 'Do not go gentle into that good night'.

Lynet said...

9 is 'The Owl and the Pussycat' by Edward Lear.

I shall not be greedier than Yunshui by saying more than three.

EnoNomi said...

Well hell, the only way I'm going to recognise something without googling it is if three are some 80's song lyrics included.

I'm happy, hope you're happy too.

PhillyChief said...

All I knew was the yawp, and it's been answered. Oh well

EnoNomi said...

I googled them all and feel better that the only ones I might have known would have been #12 or #18, because once apon a time I would have. But now I'm going to have to make an 80's version of all this. You've inspired me.

(and please delete my double posting. Caffene fueled clicking of the publish button)

Eric Haas said...

I had to resort to Google for the author of the Jefferson Starship song, so no credit for me there.

The Exterminator said...

yunshui:
Your two favorites are also among my favorites as well. (Most -- but not all -- of the poems quoted in the puzzle are ones I've loved for a very long time.) I think that "Ozymandias" is the quintessential atheistic cynic poem.

Lynet:
Number 17 has not been identified yet. Guesses with two or more options don't count because this isn't a multiple-choice test. So feel free to return and nail it. By the way, this post was not aimed at you in any way. F'chrissake, you usually post your own poetry, a commendable and brave thing to do.

Eno:
I'll pop over to look at your puzzle based on 80s song lyrics, even though I'm sure I'll know zero. I'm curious to see if you've carried through the Christian zombie theme, which you partly inspired. Not that you're a Christian or a zombie, at least yet. (I'd find the latter much more likely as your future state.)

Philly:
Why am I not surprised that you knew a poem about a barbaric yawp?

Eric Haas:
Well, you get no credit on the puzzle, but you do get points from me for being honorable. So does everyone else, so far. But, of course, no theists have attempted to answer yet. They have no compunction about running to Google to find appropriate -- or, more frequently, inappropriate -- quotes.

PhillyChief said...

I don't think they Google. If it can't be found in their bibles or on AiG (or comparable site), then clearly the information isn't worth knowing, and the poems may very well be the work of Satan, or at least Satanically inspired. I believe the appropriate Christian response would be to copy/paste some biblical passage.

I have Dead Poet's Society to thank for the yawp knowledge.

EnoNomi said...

Well I'd much rather be a zombie than a Christian.

Gareth McCaughan said...

#1 is from Marvell's "To his coy mistress". ("Had we but world enough, and time, / This coyness, lady, were no crime", etc.)

Gareth McCaughan said...

#21 is the last line of Dorothy Parker's little ditty about suicide, listing various ways of offing oneself and their drawbacks. I don't remember the title, though, so maybe I don't get this one. :-)

Gareth McCaughan said...

#17 is Emily Dickinson. I think she generally didn't give her poems titles, and I don't think I've ever seen this one with any title other than "Because I would not stop for Death", which as well as being the one you quoted is the first line.

And I too shall stop at three, not only out of politeness but because I don't think I can do any others that haven't already been done. (Though there are a couple I think I'll kick myself about when I see the answers.)

Gareth McCaughan said...

Er, "could", not "would".

The Exterminator said...

Gareth:
Correct on number 1. I'm giving you partial credit for getting the author of line 21, but that little poem does have a name. You're right about Emily Dickinson, though: She didn't assign titles. Usually, in anthologies, this one is listed as "because I could not stop for Death," but that's only a convenience for the reader. In an Emily Dickinson book I own, it's called "161," which isn't very catchy or descriptive.

If you do wind up kicking yourself, I'm betting it'll be over lines 4 and 20, maybe 10, and perhaps partially over 2 and 5.

Lynet said...

20 is from that one by Robert Frost. Is it called 'Two Paths'?

The Exterminator said...

Lynet:
Robert Frost is right; "Two Paths" isn't. You'll be happy to know that his title is better than that.

Gareth McCaughan said...

On reflection I think I do know #4, and it's very famous indeed. I'll remain strong-willed and leave it for others.

The author of #2 seems pretty obvious but I don't recognize the poem. I expect to kick myself over 10, 11, and maybe 5.

I didn't recognize 20 despite the fame of the poem (assume Lynet's right about which one it is). I don't know much Frost.

yunshui said...

Allow me to put Lynet out of her misery - 20 is Frost's The Road Not Taken (actually it might be called The Road Less Travelled - I should really be more ecrtain of these things before I arrogantly step up to bat...)

yunshui said...

*sigh* I should also check my spelling.

Incidentally, I think number 18 is from Midsummer Night's Dream - I remember playing the part of Puck in school. But it's not really a poem, as such, just part of a rhymed series of couplets, so there's no title to speak of - unless you treat the whole play as a poem...

The Exterminator said...

yunshui:
"The Road Not Taken" is correct. The Road Less Traveled (Note: only one L, because we no-nonsense Americans consider double consonants to be both effete and elite) is a psycho-religio-spiritual "self-help" book by M. Scott Peck. I ecrtainly hope you haven't wasted your time reading that piece of drivvell.

You're right about line 18. The title I was looking for was A Midsummer Night's Dream. By the way, did you mean to write "Puck," or is that another misspelling?

yunshui said...

But then I am both effete and ellite...

By the way, as Gareth said 2's author is obviously e.e. cummings, but the title eluded me until last night. I remember it as something like "someone lived in a pretty town"... Do I win a prize?

Lynet said...

Yunshui, you're thinking of 'anyone lived in a pretty how town'. And if you're right, then I'm thumping the table in annoyance because I thought of that as a possibility but I was going over the words in my head and couldn't find that exact phrase. Maybe I missed a verse.

yunshui said...

I bow to Lynet's superior cummings recollection skills - that does sound more familiar.

(((Billy))) The Clueless said...

Ya'll amaze me. The only poems I remember are Dr. Suess Big C, Little c, What begins with C? Camel on the Ceiling, LSD and, becaues I was in high school at the time of Cats, some of those most interesting poems.

Fourteen is the only one I recognized (well, that and 19 (which I swear is from Dick and Jane). But by the time I had found it to confirm, it was way too late.

Can we go back to the Jesus Cracker Quiz? That one was tasty.

The Exterminator said...

yunshui:
You're right about the author of number 2, but Lynet beat you to the title. You do win a prize, however, for being both effete and elite. Is elite, the online version of "lite"?

Lynet:
You missed a verse, but you did get the name of the poem. For your Googling enjoyment, rather than quote it, I'll tell you that it's the penultimate one. In the meantime, you can feel free to sing your didn't and dance your did.

(((Billy))):
You're free to go back to the Jesus Cracker Quiz whenever you want. However, I should warn you: As far as I know, the Keebler Elves never wrote any decent poetry.

The Exterminator said...

Everyone:
The lines that have not yet been identified are:
3. (author), 4., 5., 10. (Note: the comma after "warm" is included in some editions but not in all), 11., 19. (either the author of the work that Gareth identified, or the title and author of the work that I was thinking of), 21. (title).

Gareth McCaughan said...

OK. So, 4 is Wordsworth's "Daffodils". The author of "Casey at the Bat" (which, like almost everyone not educated in the US, I haven't read) was, IIRC, called Thayer; I think his first initial was E but I'm not very sure. Ernest? (A bit of my brain is saying "Augustus", but I don't think I should trust it.)

I wonder whether 10 might be Milton -- Paradise Lost would be the obvious more specific guess.

11 could be almost anything by almost anyone between about 1600 and 1900. George Herbert? (Maybe 5% chance.)

It wasn't I who identified any work as number 19, and I can't identify it now either :-).

And I still can't remember the title of Dorothy Parker's poem about suicide, dammit.

Eric Haas said...

Were you thinking of Runaway by Del Shannon for #19?

PhillyChief said...

Well certainly not Bon Jovi

The Exterminator said...

Gareth:
You're correct about line 4, although "The Daffodils" is a secondary title. Usually the poem is called by its first line, which is the title Wordsworth gave it: "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud." Most of your brain (except for one small Augustus bit) is also correct about Ernest (Lawrence) Thayer, whose name can be found right out in the open in my previous post. Duh.

You're wrong on 10. You identified the correct years for line 11, but a 5% chance was evidently not enough for you to think of the actual poet. The odds-makers know what they're doing!

I misstated the info about number 19. It was originally Eric Haas -- and it's still Eric Haas (see below). So you may come home; all is forgiven.

Eric:
Yup, Del Shannon. Hats off to Eric.

Philly:
Isn't Bon Jovi some kind of household cleanser?

Lynet said...

To be fair, my e. e. cummings recollection skills for that particular poem are entirely due to the fact that I have sung it. So the two most likely possibilities are that I myself didn't have to sing that line or that the arrangement left it out.

It's pure guesswork, but Robert Burns has got to be a decent bet for 5.

I have a strange feeling I've read 10. Is it Keats' 'Ode to a Grecian Urn'?

The Exterminator said...

Lynet:
You may think Robert Burns is a decent bet for line 5, but you'd lose your wager. On the other hand, I'm going to declare you a winner for number 10. But you've gotta promise me that you'll never again say "to" instead of "on".

yunshui said...

5 looks Chauceresque to me. Canterbury Tales, perhance?

The Exterminator said...

yunshui:
Chauceresque? Can you define that? Whether you can or not, you're correct. The line is from the prologue, describing smale fowles that maken meolodye.

The Ridger, FCD said...

Gosh, I never meant to offend you by posting poems I enjoy and want to share. I intend to keep on doing it, so accept my assurances that I realize you read. OK?

The Exterminator said...

Ridger:
I have no objection to your posting as many poems as you'd like. (And even if I did, who the fuck am I?) However, I visit blogs to read the authors' own thoughts, rather than the ideas of others. (There are some great poetry anthologies available for anyone interested.)

Also, please be careful about copyright infringement.

heather said...

Can't be bothered reading what people have already got, so I am extending the no-googling principle to not reading the comments either. I think I know a few.

1 Marvell To his coy mistress
2 The Ancient Mariner (wild guess)
4 Tennyson Lady of Shallott (?) (the rhythm sounds like it)
3 Chaucer: Canterbury Takes (()(from the language, don't recognise the line)
7 Blake: Tyger. tyger
8 Coleridge: Kublai Khan (?)
9 Lear: The owl and the pussycat
12 Carroll, The walrus and the carpenter
13 Oliver the musical
19 Talking Heads Psycho killer
21 - Dorothy Parker
No idea about the others but some sound familiar

heather said...

Shit, I've just seen you've put the names of the people who got the answers.
I still haven't looked at what the right answers are.
Nor can I add to them, don't know 11 and don't know the title of 20.
Shamed.
But it was fun.

The Exterminator said...

heather:
Pretty damn good. Here are your results:
1. Yup.
2. Nope.
4. Nah.
5. You wrote "3," but I think even in the U.K., it's "5" that comes after "4." So I'm giving you credit.
7. Yeah. It's actually entitled "The Tyger," but I gave you're close enough.
8. Uh-uh.
9. Uh-huh.
12. Ummmm. Right author, wrong poem.
13. Correct source, but neither title, nor author provided.
19. Qu'est-ce que c'est? Interesting choice. Actually, the lyric of "Psycho Killer" has six "run"s before "run away" (two words). The verse listed has only four "run"s before "runaway" (one word). But this answer made me laugh, because even though I'm a huge Talking Heads fan, I hadn't even thought of that song as a possible incorrect answer.
21. Dorothy Parker, indeed. But what's the name of the poem? That one still hasn't been answered.

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