Saturday, November 27, 2010

What difference a good vocabulary can make

The original poem:

Oh glorious sleep
Why do you elude me so
At times I haven't deserved
You've engulfed me unreservedly

Now I lie with illnesses aplenty
Reaching out for your healing touch
I toss and turn and sigh and puff
Still you elude me, heart and soul

I tried all remedies,
I sung myself a lullaby,
Still you wont be bewitched
To give me some rest

Stop me from thinking
From bemoaning my sore throat
I have to greet the sun,
As it ushers in a new dawn,

Oh sleep, sweet sleep,
Do not elude me so
My tearful eyes plead to you,
Come to me, hold me in you

 With better vocab,

Oh glorious sleep, why you think me so derisive
When in need, I have found you so elusive
Yet when a reward is not seemly
You’ve engulfed me so unreservedly

Now when I am so rife with illness
Your healing touch is next to godliness
With gasps and sighs, I spend the night
You can take away my pain and my blight

I’ve tried all remedies for this malady
Even tried singing myself a lullaby
Yet you just don’t make an appearance
To remain sane, I call thee with deference

Remove this thought and all this dote
This bemoaning won’t cure my sore throat
The sun will usher in a new day within the hour
I have to start afresh and can’t afford to cower

You’re everyone’s desire yet so delusive
Even at this late hour you aren’t suffusive
I beg for you to take me away
To a land where dreams hold sway

So dear reader, which one's better?
I've written the first one. Since I couldn't get it to rhyme, I asked my friend Chinmay to help me out. He's written the second one. The difference makes me want to pick up a dictionary and absorb it like that robot kid from Small Wonder.

p.s. the image shows how I look when I'm sleeping.. Instead of the duck, it's a dog :D

Image courtesy:


  1. Obviously the first one.

  2. i like the first one better...but way to go...awesome poem...great writing!!

  3. Big words do not always a reat poem make. Sometimes its the simplicity. Poetry, especially, is best when it's simple...

  4. @Anon and Priya: Thanks :)
    @MrNarci: I agree with you. The poem needs to have some rhythm to it though, else it just reads like prose. In fact it is disturbing to read. need not necessarily rhyme, but needs a rhythm.. :) i think i got it in this one, can't say the same about my previous attempts though

  5. Sometimes Manasi, simple is beautiful. I like the first one better.

    Poetry is about self expression, so vocab doesn't matter much.

    In copywriting, vocab power is good, but simplicity still wins.

    In literature, vocab matters a lot.

    The key is to use just the right word in the right place at the right time for any of the above.

    Sonali Brahma