I Writes Pomes, I Does

In the course of a) procrastinating writing my piece for Friday night, and b) also not usefully putting in work hours, I started looking for some of my older work that I might be able to use if I don't come up with something in time.

(I always do this, by the way, write things on deadline day; it's like the pressure opens the valve in my head that lets stories out)

While doing so, I found this work from a year ago. I should also point out that, as per the subject, I do write poetry, and I'm particularly fond of structured formats. I attended a local coffeehouse competition once bearing a limerick, two sonnets and a villanelle (the latter about pirates stealing the host's pants, no less!).

Anyway, I think it was New Year's Day of 2009 that I happened to be watching a channel showing all six Star Wars movies in a row. By the time I got to IV (the original first movie), I was getting a bit cabin-fevered, and decided to take up the pen to render the movie in a series of seven sonnets.

And so I present to you:

Star Wars IV: A New Hope, in sonnets1 2

Attacked, a Rebel freighter flees a shot
Of searing light and energies most dire;
The Star Destroyer's troops aboard in fire
The Princess stashes plans in a robot.

Though Rebel soldiers grimly choose a spot,
Soon under blasters' goad they must retire,
While Leia's caught by troopers' stunning fire,
And laid upon a steely prison cot.

Two droids escape from Vader's grasping hand;
A stolen pod falls from a burning sky,
To Tatooine, a dry and dusty place.

C-3PO and R2 on the sand:
The golden droid is caught, R2 they fry,
The Jawas drive a huge and mobile base.


Skywalker's uncle leads him from the farm:
Some droids to help them gather vap'rous trace.
The first R2, though, shortly comes to harm,
So R2-D2's taken in its place.

Now Luke would join the Rebels out in space,
And cleaning droids, he whines about his lot;
R2 projects a holo, Leia's face:
A message begging help, sealed in the bot.

"Show me the rest", says Luke, "she's kinda hot!"
R2 suggests removal of a bolt
Would fix the ever-looping show he'd got.
But R2 flees; Luke knows he's been a dolt.

The name Kenobi rings a bell for Luke;
An ancient hermit, Dune Sea-living kook.


Though R2's found, the Tusken strike with speed;
Poor 3P0 completely falls in parts.
Kenobi's roar clears Sandmen and their steed,
They're shaken to their dusty Tusken hearts.

Back in Kenobi's hut, Luke starts,
Examining his father's ancient sword.
But though he wants what Obi-wan imparts,
To Uncle Owen, Luke's more son than ward.

The Jawas dead: it seems, by Tuskens gored?
Kenobi says, "Young Luke, you must look twice,
The Sandmen never formed so large a horde;
No, only Stormtroopers are so precise."

Luke races back to find his life destroyed:
To Alderaan with Ben he'll take the droid.


Mos Eisley now, a passage must be bought.
Patrols seek droids, but weak minds cannot see -
Kenobi's wave can change a trooper's thought;
"These aren't the droids we're looking for", says he.

Cantina music tinkles softly out,
From sunken inn comes, too, a reek of beer;
Kenobi takes them in despite Luke's doubt -
No droids though, "We don't serve their kind in here!"

A local is disarmed by Obi-Wan;
A Wookiee says he just might have a ship.
A quick deal's made, but soon they must be gone -
In space the Falcon soon gives Imps the slip.

While Leia suffers torture by a droid,
And soon must watch her Alderaan destroyed.


Kenobi teaches Luke, the sword to use;
R2's dejarek skills make Solo grin.
"You'll lose your arms," he says, "should Chewie lose."
C-3P0 says "Let the Wookiee win."

At Alderaan, no planet found, just space;
A short-range fighter out this far? Oh please!
A moon nearby might be the hidden base -
But "That's no moon!" is what Kenobi sees.

The tractor beam pulls Falcon into bay;
A smuggler's trick eludes the troopers' search.
Kenobi knows how they can get away
But Luke can't leave the Princess in the lurch.

While in cell block eleven thirty-eight
In darkened cell does Leia grimly wait.


The rescue goes awry, the hall's a trap:
To freedom can the heroes find no path.
Til something in the Princess seems to snap -
She blasts a way into a stinking bath.

Kenobi's cut the tractor's fearsome grasp,
While Luke and Leia swing across a shaft.
The Wookiee, droids and Solo flee the rasp
of Vader testing Old Ben's sabercraft.

The Jedi smiles; he knows the time is near
To move beyond life's day-to-day concerns
He stands up straight, his saber raised, no fear;
At Vader's stroke, Ben to the Force returns.

The Falcon flies, Kenobi dies, alone;
Skywalker's Jedi skills he now must hone.


Han Solo's unaware of Vader's trace -
The Grand Moff's station follows Falcon's lead.
Though Leia's worry's written on her face,
The Rebels soon will have the plans they need.

The briefing room is stuffed with pilots true.
The Rebel forces' task seems much too hard -
In one-man fighters, to the shield and through,
A tiny six-foot port, they fly toward.

Reb after Reb falls to the flashing fire,
As Vader flies his Tie with eerie skill.
But Luke is just as finely-skilled a flyer:
His torps fly true, the Death Star for to kill.

A big hurrah, a fanfare blown in praise
Now Luke must learn alone, the Jedi ways.


1 Some of them are Petrarchan, some of them Spenserian, some of them Shakespearean. And yah, I may have dinged the scansion in a few places. Come on! It's not bad for something I managed to write before Lando even flew into Death Star II...for the curious, it's Petrarchan, Spenserian twice, then four nice easy Shakespearean. While I like the Petrarchan, the squishiness of the eight-line conflict, and the wastefulness of six lines of resolution, make it unsuitable for this form (part of a sequence). I think when I do the other movies, I'll move the Petrarchan to the end, where a six-line resolution would be more appropriate.

2 Yes, I clearly had too little to do today.

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