"No matter how terrified you may be, own your fear and take that leap anyway because whether you land on your feet or on your butt, the journey is well worth it."
-- Laurie Laliberte
"If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough."
-- Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage."
-- Anais Nin

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Gryphon's Song by Matt Posner

This is actually an excerpt from Matt's book Level Three's Dream. When I read the second volume of the School of the Ages series back in October, this poem struck me. I immediately emailed Matt and asked his permission to include it, so I thought, What better way to end the month?

Shall I sing, as planned?” asked the Gryphon.

            “Sing,” said the Mock Turtle, still looking worried.
            The Gryphon struck a proud pose, front legs extended, raising the greasy beak. It then threw out its wings majestically as it sang a high note.
            “Bel canto,” said the Gryphon. “You should read about it. The exaggerated motion of the wing loosens inhibitions and allows the voice to be free.” The creature then sang:
In youth I loved the hippo
And the hippo did love me.
Find Level Three's Dream on Amazon
We went about cavorting
And swimming in the sea.
            But then the seasons changed,
            And the hippo’s love was gone.
            Oh, love’s a thing that turns and turns
            But living must go on.
And then I loved the hydra,
And the hydra’s love was mine.
I loved the scaly kisses, and
The passion serpentine.
            But then the seasons changed,
            And the hydra’s love was gone.
            Oh, love’s a thing that goes and comes
            But living must go on.
And then I loved the werewolf,
That lupine made me swoon.
I loved to feel that doggy tongue
And holler at the moon.
            But then the seasons changed,
            And the werewolf’s love was gone.
            Oh, love’s a thing to pass some time,
            But living must go on.
And then as I grew older,
I loved the kraken too.
Its fine caressing suckers
That stuck to me like glue.
            But then the seasons changed,
            And the kraken’s touch was gone.
            Oh, love’s a thing that cannot stay,
            But living must go on.
Still I was growing older,
And the bonnacon had my heart.
That burned up several acres
With each resounding fart.
            But then the seasons changed,
            And the bonnacon’s passions cooled.
            Oh, love’s a thing we love to love,
            But better not be fooled.
At the end I loved the dragon,
That was harsh and cold as bone,
Who answered my romantic talk
In stern, imperious tone.
            But then the seasons changed,
            And age was the dragon’s doom.
            The years go by, you find yourself
            A' weeping at a tomb.
Of all the lovely creatures
I’ve loved since my birth,
There’s not a one to stay with me
From sea to sky to earth.
            And how the seasons change,
            And how their love is gone.
            Oh, love’s a thing that goes away,
            But living must go on.

Matt says:

My Gryphon is not like Carroll's Gryphon (who was a washed-up blatherer longing for his Public School days) but has a female diva-like personality. I gave this Gryphon a song that was meant to be, as with some of the songs in the Mock Turtle section of Alice in Wonderland, both ridiculous and bittersweet. The ridiculous part is the rhymes to do with various mythical creatures and their body parts; the bittersweet part is the acknowledgement of how transitory love can be, and how sad a person might feel after many failed affairs. The closest real-world equivalent would be "Raspberries, Strawberries" by Kingston Trio, but this is a female version of same.
This is my favorite song from Level Three's Dream, and I'm honored that you chose it.

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