Wednesday, March 7, 2012

xkcd: “Compare and Contrast”

Today’s xkcd:

[A secret message to my son: Ben, figurative language!]

comments: 5

stefan said...

It's likely that anyone interested has already discovered this Howard Moss parody, but just in case:

Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day?

Who says you're like one of the dog days?
You're nicer. And better.
Even in May, the weather can be gray,
And a summer sub-let doesn't last forever.
Sometimes the sun's too hot;
Sometimes it's not.
Who can stay young forever?
People break their necks or just drop dead!
But you? Never!
If there's just one condensed reader left
Who can figure out the abridged alphabet,
After you're dead and gone,
In this poem you'll live on!
--- Howard Moss

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks for sharing that wonderful poem, Stefan. “People break their necks or just drop dead!” sounds so much like Frank O’Hara to me, though I’m not sure Moss would’ve taken that as a compliment.

Michael Leddy said...

About Moss and O’Hara, from a brief biography of James Schuyler: “Schuyler began writing seriously in the late 1940’s, but an important breakthrough in his career came in 1951. As a result of his correspondence with Howard Moss, Moss published Schuyler’s poem ‘Salute’, written in the hospital in White Plains, New York. Moss later published three of Schuyler’s short stories in the magazine Accent along with a poem entitled ‘Three Penny Opera’ by Frank O'Hara. At a party, Moss introduced Schuyler to Frank O’Hara and John Ashbery, who had been Moss’s schoolmates at Harvard. ”

stefan said...

Thanks, Michael. As you know, I have a weird affection for coincidence, and this one seems to fit the bill. I thought I detected a hint of O'Hara too, but I don't know anything really about Moss and hadn't yet found out. I'm happy that you like the poem and delighted to learn more about this connection. I sometimes get the impression that until, say, the late 70s, the poets all knew one another.

Michael Leddy said...

They really did. And the painters too.