Hide and Seek in the Devil’s Garden


Hide and Seek in the Devil’s Garden

By Xanadu

I’ve had many vices, but please don’t ask me
what they are. Most of the worst ones, I hope,
are now behind me. So, no need to task me
with old sins. None were worth a hangman’s rope.

Nowadays my biggest vice is too much
introspection. Too much brooding on past
times. Too many regrets, and sighs, and such.
I need to know that none of this will last.

People mellow with time. Many a saint
began as a sinner. The young are caught
in nets of passion. Age brings self-restraint.
We become, in the end, all we have thought.

Death kills at last. Old age with sickness maims.
Past vices die. They can’t survive these flames.

β€” Xanadu, Translations from a Lost Language

16 thoughts to “Hide and Seek in the Devil’s Garden”

  1. It’s not “prose”, Gilbert. By saying this you are being deliberately insulting to Lasha. And a smiley face doesn’t make your caustic comment any more palatable. πŸ™‚

    1. @ Gilbert Huntly

      FYI, the poem is a beautifully written Shakespearean sonnet. To call it “prose” is not only rude and condescending, it is also false. The poem is written in iambic pentameters: 5 stresses to each line and 10 syllables exactly in each line. The two lines that contain 11 syllables are counted as 10 syllables because these are “feminine rhymes” (ask me / task me, where the penultimate syllable is stressed and the last syllable is not sounded or “docked”).

      You consider it “prose” because you don’t understand or appreciate what is known as “enjambement“, which this practices, i.e., you expect every line to end with a comma or full stop. This is enjambement:

      Nowadays my biggest vice is too much
      introspection. Too much brooding on past
      times. Too many regrets, and sighs, and such.
      I need to know that none of this will last.

      You call this “prose” in your ignorance of prosody. There’s meant to be an “end-pause” at the end of lines 1 and 2. You don’t like this “running over” into the next line. This running over into the next line is technically known as “enjambement” and is extremely common in poetry. All you need to do is to PAUSE briefly at the end of each line and line then has perfect rhythm and musicality. What you are doing is reading it WITHOUT a pause, as if it were prose.

      If this was “prose”, how come each line has exactly TEN syllables with FIVE stresses in each line?

      Anyway, unlike you I appreciated the poem. It has a beauty to it. Depth as well as sincerity. And by the way, Shakespeare frequently makes use of enjambement and would have been most hurt if you had referred to his perfectly crafted iambic pentameters as “prose”! πŸ™‚

      @ Sister Monica

      I had no idea Lasha and “Xanadu” were the same person. Why is she now writing her poetry under this other name? Why not under her own name?

      1. @ Saki

        I don’t think Gilbert meant to be “rude and condescending”. He’s not that kind of person. He just doesn’t understand or appreciate “enjambement” and mistakes it for “prose”.

        I adore the poem myself, but I can’t say I’d ever heard of “enjambement” before! This is a new word for me. And I write poems myself, which I’m pretty ashamed of. They are all in “free verse”, known derogatively as “chopped-up prose” β€” the last resort of poets who don’t know how to write proper poetry with rhyme and meter or the right numbers of syllables and stresses in each line.

        Xanadu’s poem, I have to say, is a very good example of the Shakespearean sonnet: a 14-line poem in iambic pentameters (10 syllables / 5 stresses per line) consisting of an “octet” of eight lines as an introduction and then a “sextet” of six lines as a conclusion. It always has a rhyming couplet at the end, like this sonnet has.

      2. @ Madame Butterfly

        I’d like to read one of your poems, dear Madame.
        I am sure they are excellent and erudite.

        1. No the ain’t, they’re lousy. And Gilbert’s a far better poet than I can ever hope to be. I want to see more poetry by Gilbert on this website. He’s got more to offer now than he had before, because he’s had adversity. A really tough time. And that’s bound to have had a beneficial effect on his soul. Made it wiser and deeper.
          I think Gilbert has now journeyed beyond the point where he is happy to write conventional love poetry. We can expect something more poignantly moving from him now.
          So let’s have it!

        1. @ Pat

          I could strangle you, you son of a gun!
          That really would be fun.
          And then I’d be done!

          I don’t drink vodka, sir.
          That would incur
          Loss of control, and make me err.

          I much prefer gin
          To get pickled in β€”
          Though gin, too, is conducive to sin.

  2. This is a great little poem. Some very big things so easily said in such a simple yet witty way.

    I don’t know much about poetry, whether reading it, writing it or reciting it,
    but I’m pretty sure I resemble a lot of it.

  3. Sister Monica, et.al.,

    I certainly did not intend rudeness to Lasha. Your mistake. My fault, however, is that I do not have a PhD. in English Literature, and am ignorant of all the rules and exceptions which qualify/disqualify a piece to be called “poetry”. Thank you for the education, but you can shove your condescension “up yours”. You put something on here for comment, and I politely comment. I don’t think I said I didn’t like it – but I qualified it as to my own understanding of what “poetry” should be – even though I adore Lasha.
    I will henceforth not bother to comment on the poetry you offer, nor add any goddam emotives to try to show my good humor.
    Thank you, Madame Butterfly, for giving me the benefit of doubt.

    1. Dear Gilbert,

      Please don’t take offense. None was intended. Your own poetry is brilliant, make no mistake about that. To write good poetry, you don’t need a PhD in English Literature as you say. In fact, this would probably be enough to ruin any poetry such a person wrote.

      Let me tell you a true story. I had a friend at university. My boyfriend, in fact. He was a brilliant poet. Won the First Prize every single year for Poetry at our university. Got a First Class Honours degree and then went to Oxford to take higher degrees. I lost contact with him after he went to Oxford.

      In despair at losing him, I entered a nunnery in France. In a contemplative order. Stayed there 10 years and then left. My fault. Just not suited to the life. Contacted my old boyfriend after I got out, just to see how he was. He was now lecturing in a great university in England β€” though not Oxford or Cambridge β€” and had written several academic papers on some obscure 17th century poet no one had ever heard of. (LD has never heard of him). Anyway, my ex-boyfriend was now happily married to a bluestocking lady, a fellow academic. And he’d given up poetry to concentrate on his academic career, writing learned tomes stuffed with erudite footnotes.

      Last I’d heard he had become Professor of English Literature at a great Scottish University. (I won’t mention its name). And he’d now become the world authority on this extremely obscure and minor 17th century poet.

      My old flame has not produced a single line of poetry as a result of his academic brilliance. Not a single book! He became Mr Dryasdust as a result of his academic career. A wasted life? Who knows? Maybe he was never meant to write poetry. And yet…and yet, he had great promise. He could have taken the world by storm. Yet it was not to be. So sad.

      Anyway, Gilbert. Accept by deepest apologies for my rather silly comment. Lasha was not offended by your comment at all and says you’re a “rough diamond” and “one of the nicest Americans I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing”. Yes, she adores you in her own strange way. So please, do keep in touch…..

      1. @ Gilbert Hunty

        Sincere apologies for the offence I gave you, Gilbert. I have acted unforgivably for speaking out of turn and rushing to premature judgment. For this I deserve the severest castigation. I should have kept my big mouth shut. I’m deeply ashamed of myself, the more so as I have no right to lecture a talented poet like Gilbert when I myself am a literary eunuch β€” incapable of producing a single line of good poetry. And that’s a fact.

      2. Thank you, ladies, for not castigating me much for my “rough diamond” retort. I’m pretty sure I’d like both of you very much, if I ever met you. It’s not often one gets to communicate with such genteel personages.
        Truly, however, I have never been given to much study, even though I scored high on my SATs, and attended a good school. Family says I never took anything too seriously. I have regretted not taking full advantage of my opportunities, and if things don’t come easy for me, I usually
        don’t bother with them, much. A grievous fault.
        I can shoot, ride, farm, operate machinery, and drive big trucks. Old tractors and quality firearms are my “hobbies”, and I occasionally write. I’m pretty simple. When in school, girls and women were my hobbies. I always kept beauties.
        That I imagine Lasha to be a certain type of black-haired beauty only adds to her mystique for me, and I feel a connection with her that affords me candor. (She even knows my real name – because I TRUST her. Imagine that!)
        I understand your loyalty, and I am very glad you were not too offended!

        Cordially and sincerely,

        1. You sound like a nice guy, Gilbert, and I’m so pleased you’ve forgiven us for our dreadful incivilities. Please continue to communicate your thoughts to us here, where you are hugely liked because of unpretentious common sense and β€” believe it or not! β€” for your anti-intellectualism. I feel that this website is the right habitat for you on which to express yourself and keep in touch with likeminded folk, so you might as well make full use of it while you can. I’m not sure how much longer we’ll be here. Things are dicey. You will wake up one morning and find that the Darkmoon site has vanished into thin air. It’s coming, believe me. We are all living on borrowed time.

  4. The devil in the garden is Enki in the Garden of Eden who chased down Homo Erectus females and tried to knock them up. (see Sitchin’s book The Lost Book of Enki”) Hide and seek in the devil’s garden was true to life and how we got here. Unable to knock them up he had to create a test tube baby and impregnate the Anunnaki nurse Nimmah with a fertilized egg.

    Enki (who is also Lucifer in Judeo-Christian mythology) is the father of the human race. The first race he created were the Adamites. Later he bred with one of his own creating a new line the Adapites. Yes Virginia, the father of the human race is the devil. Deny this you will.





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