02 April 2006

              The Ugly Duckling

              In later years, the swan became
              even more beautiful.

              The lake was his second sky
              and across its clear surface he glided
              like a dancer.

              But sometimes in the evenings
              he paused by the reeds
              at the lakeside

              to watch the toads in their season.

              Like a swarm of cold grey warts
              on infected skin,
              hundreds of them gathered to mate,
              belching out their vile croaksong,
              their ancient sound of
              the urge
              .......of life itself.

              Watching them, he would recall
              his ugly duckling days,

              and again he would despise himself
              for his weakness,

              for his fear of living in a world
              that would not regard him
              ........................... as beautiful.
posted by Gilbert at Sunday, April 02, 2006


Blogger Pat Paulk said...

Very good!

April 04, 2006  
Blogger kite said...

Why is the swan male? Hehe. I always think of swans as female

April 04, 2006  
Blogger Bluesky_Liz said...

The only thing is that I fail to connect completely or satisfactorily in my mind is why the song of toads should remind him of his ugly duckling days. I'm guessing you are trying to show that the swan is being made ashame to feel insecure when ugly things such as toads seem to come out singing and looking for mates to procreate.

April 04, 2006  
Blogger Bluesky_Liz said...

Maybe you need to rearrange the scenes a bit.

April 04, 2006  
Blogger MB said...

I like this one, Gilbert. I find the phrase Like a swarm of cold grey warts on infected skin, a bit much, mostly because of the "infected skin" part, but perhaps that's just me. But really, I like this one a lot.

April 05, 2006  
Blogger Gilbert Koh said...

Mmmm. Thanks all. I will rethink this one a bit. Maybe I need to explain a little more about why the song of toads reminds the swan of its ugly duckling days.

I actually want to portray the toads as ugly & disgusting, yet primal, vital, very alive, sexual ...

this is to contrast against the swan being insecure about ugliness.

April 05, 2006  
Blogger Amy said...

I love this poem. Beautiful. In my opinion, you should not strive to explain more about what is going on. The poem will become less complex. It's fine if the reader must read it several times. Make us think!

Perhaps the last stanza explains a little too much about what the swan fears, but that's a subjective thought. Keep it if you like it.

Great poem.I especially like the opening.

April 07, 2006  

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