Updating Poetry for the ‘Get Wise Quick’ Generation

I have been looking for a way to waste the rest of my life. You know, to find an occupation, a cause, a fanatically consuming obsession which demands my every waking thought and calorie, and now I think I may have stumbled on it.

Reflecting on a recent conversation with the baker about the depth of glazing  used on the most appealing currant buns I realised that my life was lacking urgency: a sense of purpose or drive; something larger than myself upon which I could squeeze that last drop of lemon juice which is my personality. That cause; which might lead me to stride by the diverting road to comfort and sea side holidays, and inspire me to seize the opportunity given to me by the whims of imagination. ‘By Accident’, and could that be a title for a book on the history of the world I wonder, I stumbled on the idea of updating poetry: once you grasp the concept, everything soon falls into place.

As a brief respite from reflecting on the meaning of existance, and  the powerful choices in ‘life direction’ posed by television guides, I allowed my mind to drift briefly towards matters literary and dwelt on the line, “The pen is mightier than the sword”, and then, because I always do, I started to wonder what it was they were actually referring to. Are we talking a decent fountain pen here, with one of those gold nibs which may draw admiring glances, or even a goose feather, suitably trimmed to ensure maximum calligraphic flexibility or just any old biro such you might rediscover in the sock drawer after a night on the tiles.

We are nearing the age when no one will know what a pen was. This pithy, wisdom-rich gem will be lost in a soggy bed of obscurity and misunderstanding. After a brief thought period I translated it into what I consider to be a clearer and less obscure  rendition with reference to modern artefacts.  I stood back and said aloud,  “The keyboard is stronger than the AK47” and sort of paused a bit. You know; let the moment drift and waited for that slow smile which greets the first appearance of His Eminence, the Lord of Genius.

I mean, think about it. You’re lounging around pretending to be in tune with a pleasing fresh supply of adolescents, while practising a range of electrically charged dance moves, and you sense the time has come to say something a bit edgy: out there, but not so far out that a telescope would be needed to see you, and then you murmur, “The keyboard is stronger than the AK47” and sure enough you get the “Yo’s” and “I couldn’t have put it better myself” and other street cred expressions which reveal you as being familiar with that “World of Wardrobe” or whatever that Playstation game is that my Ambassador to Youth spends so many hours playing. Already I am planning my new masterpiece “Beowulf does Disco”. Does it have the ring do you think?


About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in character, community, creative writing, Fiction, humour, Life, poetry, skils, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Updating Poetry for the ‘Get Wise Quick’ Generation

  1. renxkyoko says:

    ” The keyboard is mightier than the AK47…… BRILLIANT !


  2. catterel says:

    I love the way your mind works – am now going to start on Fowler and update everything that a modern 12-year-old needs to know!


  3. I really must consult you on some of my own writers, Mr. Ducks! I wouldn’t want to mush-up my message to a whole generation!


  4. Caroline says:

    Given how the cloud now refers to something where we are supposed to store our data I feel
    “! wandered lonely as a cloud” – has great opportunities for you!


  5. Rachael Charmley says:

    I so agree. Great piece. There’s something about writing which makes me forget I’m cold, or tired, or even hungry!


  6. Dylan Hearn says:

    A brilliant idea. How about, a watched torrent download never finishes, in place of a watched pot never boils? Of course, this would already be out of date in the major cities but for those youngsters in the countryside it will still ring true.


  7. leagpage says:

    I’d add in my 2 cents but I wouldn’t want to sound like a broken record.


  8. 1WriteWay says:

    Beowulf does disco? In that case, perhaps John Cleese should recite that version 🙂 And I love “the keyword is mightier than the AK47.” Although here in the US, the AK47 is more respected than the keyboard, musical or otherwise 😦


  9. Brilliant post! Can’t wait to hear your updated take of ‘clockwise’.


  10. Just love it, wanted to read on and on as usual!

    :). 🙂


  11. babs50nfab says:

    Laugh out loud funny! And yet…a good idea? maybe.


  12. HAAaaaa.
    you know what is “Brilliant?”

    You, my dear, YOU! ))) Xxxx


  13. Brilliant. I’ll never forget that phrase.


  14. nelle says:

    You’re onto something…what with the upcoming season, you might wish to tackle a carol or two as well.


  15. rodalena says:

    Updating poetry…that’s a delicious idea. Loved this post. 🙂


  16. This would make a bangin rap! Word.


  17. Yep, and the keyboard shoots printers ink – now try getting that out of the laundry!


  18. So much changes … and yet nothing really does. Very witty, Peter! Enjoyed it very much.


  19. Here’s another one for you: “A billion saved is a billion earned.” This might need updating again in the near future… 😉


  20. Well written, i adore it 🙂


  21. beetleypete says:

    Great stuff.
    I no longer mourn the demise of the fountain pen. I got a new one for my birthday, and I have continued to write letters. Real ones, on vellum paper, sent by post in thick, sumptuous envelopes.
    It feels good again, in a way than no e mail ever will.
    Regards, Pete.


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