The L-Space Web: Poems


Subject: [I] Songs on alt fan pratchett (was: Re (I) Mean Spirits)
From: AfPhantom
Date: 2000/04/05

GracePoole wrote in message

> I've been lurking here - off and on - for about
> a generation. Am a Pratchett fan because I like
> his humor, language, and charm. I've never posted
> a message.

>Here's a first and last.
> I don't know why a writer who exemplifies such charm,
> wit and sweet spirit haven't actually met him, have you? ;-) Point is taken, though...

> should be represented by people who have made fandom
> into such a complicated and too often mean-spirited
> system.

*sigh* It does, from time to time, end up much like that. Right now, there is a disproportionate amount of pettiness and narrow-mindedness. I am personally reminded of the predicament of a certain small god, in which a structure becomes more important than the focus of belief, but enough of my moaning - there are other, better ways to deal with that sort of thing.

> Hey. It's all about lightness, amusement, and fun.
> Or should be. That's what the books are about,
> after all.

>I'm back to the Books - and off this newsgroup.
>But it's a shame. I WAS looking for kindred spirits.

Please, don't give up on us just yet. For some reason, I am prompted to utterly mangle the "Introduction to the Song of Hiawatha" as an introduction to and commentary on afp - and a reminder of the "Light Side". It's a sort of "come on in folks", I suppose...

...but what a strange way to go about it :-~ [1]

Not by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Should you ask me, whence these stories?
Whence these legends and traditions,
With the cutting edge of reason,
With the mark and stamp of passion,
With the curling smoke of anger,
With the gentle note of kindness,
With the wit and erudition,
And the wild interpretations
Of the writings of the Discworld?

I should answer, I should tell you,
"From the people here on Usenet,
From the Great Lakes to the Oceans,
From the lands of green and plenty,
From the lands of ice and snowfall,
From the mountains, moors, and fen-lands
Where the folk who speak of Pratchett
Write among the hills and valleys;
We will send as we create them
To the place called alt fan pratchett,
To the place that will receive them."

Should you ask where alt fan pratchett
Found these Songs so wild and wayward,
Found these legends and traditions,
I should answer, I should tell you,
"In the boredom of the office,
In the bustle of the cities,
In the journey heading homewards,
In the loneliness of evening."

"All our day-dreams sing them to us;
In the morning, noon and night-time,
In the waking and the sleeping,
Still our minds and hearts will sing them,
Sing them harsh or sing them softly,
The opinions, the discussions,
And the words disclosing friendship."

If still further you should ask me,
Saying, "What is alt fan pratchett?
Tell us of this alt fan pratchett,"
I should answer your inquiries
Straightway in such words as follow.

"In the land once known as Albion,
In a green and pleasant country,
By some man-made water-courses,
Dwells the Author, Terry Pratchett.
Round about his quiet village
Spread the meadows and the corn-fields,
And beyond them stands his dwelling,
Stands the dwelling of the Author -
Signs in Summer, writes in Winter -
Ever signing, ever writing."

"And the writings of the Author,
Here are honoured, here are followed,
By the workers in the office,
By the aldermen of cities,
By the innocent and carefree,
By the learnÚd in their wisdom;
For inside us dwells the laughter,
In the hale and in the sickly,
In our friends and our companions."

"So we sing to alt fan pratchett,
Sing our Songs to alt fan pratchett,
Sing of humour, sing of nonsense,
How we've stayed and how we've wandered,
How we've lived, and loved, and wondered;
That together we might prosper,
That we might advance as people."

Ye who love the thought of Usenet,
Love the freedom of expression,
Love the chance to stand as equals,
Love the forum - free, unfettered
And the flowing and the music,
And the rushing of thought-rivers
Through their palisades of letters,
And the thunder of Opinions,
Whose innumerable echoes
Flap like eagles in their eyries;-
Listen to our wild discourses,
To our Songs on alt fan pratchett.

Ye who love a nation's legends,
Love the ballads of a people,
That like voices from afar off
Call to us to pause and listen,
Speak in tones so plain and childlike,
Scarcely can the ear distinguish
Whether they be sung or spoken;
Listen to our thoughts and feelings,
To our Songs on alt fan pratchett.

Ye whose hearts are fresh and simple,
Who have faith in Man and Nature,
Who believe that in all ages
Every human heart is human,
That in even savage bosoms
There are longings, yearnings, strivings
For the good they comprehend not;
That the feeble hands and helpless,
Groping blindly in the darkness,
Touch another's hand in darkness
And are lifted up and strengthened;
Listen to this simple story,
And our Songs on alt fan pratchett

Ye, who sometimes, in your rambles
Through the twisting lanes of newsgroups -
Where the tangled words of people
Hang their hopes of recognition
Over stone walls of derision -
Pause at some forgotten posting,
For a while to muse, and ponder
On a self-effaced inscription,
Writ with little skill of word-play,
Homely phrases, but each letter
Full of hope and yet of heart-break,
Full of all the tender pathos
Of the Here and the Hereafter;
Stay and read with hope and laughter,
Read our Songs on alt fan pratchett.

I'm definitely not ripping off the whole thing - that didn't come out how I thought it would at *all*.

Ho-hum, back to the drawing board.



[1] To borrow a phrase from C.S. Lewis, who also parodied the Song of Hiawatha;
"In an age of imitation, I can claim no special merit for this slight attempt at doing what is known to be so easy..."

Nonetheless, I *am* going to allow myself a slight smugness that I stayed so much closer in phrasing to the original than did ole' C.S.L... and mine din't even *have* Hiawatha in it ;-)

Doesn't mean it's not poo though... :-(

The L-Space Filk section is no longer actively being maintained. It is only kept online for historical purposes.

The L-Space Web is a creation of The L-Space Librarians
This mirror site is maintained by The L-Space Librarians