My Monday poetry stretch participants (Hi Julie! Hi Jane!) have kept me thinking and writing since I posted the challenge to write macaronic verse. Here's my contribution.
For the Love of LatinI hope you're thinking about this challenge and writing some macaronic verse of your own. I'll be posting all the results here later this week.
We enter the room and silently take our seats.
“Good morning, class!”
We raise our hands to respond.
Here I am Ceres, goddess of agriculture.
There are several Venuses, but I did not believe
myself deserving of such a name.
I wanted wisdom, but Minerva was taken
before Mrs. Shillington got to the S’s.
“Ceres, quid agis?”
I reach for a word other than very well,
but how do you say lousy in Latin?
She turns to the weather.
“Quinem es tempestas hodie?”
This daily ritual is a finely rehearsed play,
performed each day
for a language no longer spoken.
We open our books to translate.
I despise Virgil. He’s fine in English,
but getting there is no picnic.
“Arma virumque cano,”
I sing of arms and a man . . .
For years I have endured this. Why am I here?
Sometimes I forget, but in science class I remember.
I am reminded again when I beat my mother at Scrabble,
and the day I take the SAT.
I love words, their meaning and origins,
the way they feel on my tongue and sound in my ears.
Four years spent studying a long dead language
that invariably lives on.
Veni! Vidi! Vici!
Well, perhaps not Virgil, but high school.