Show & Tell: My One and Only Poem

When I was seventeen and a senior in high school I had a huge crush on Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Before he was famous!). I was so infatuated with JRM, particularly his character Steerpike in the TV mini-series Gormenghast, that I was inspired to write a poem, er, about Steerpike, not so much about JRM in general. I guess you can call this “fan poetry.” I’m not a poet nor do I like writing poetry.  I only like poems that rhyme because it just seems like it took more effort. This poem rhymes and it took an entire afternoon. Rhyming is hard! I never told my friends I wrote this;  I was already winning all the departmental awards, I didn’t need to add “poem inspired by hot Irish actor acting as my muse” to my resume of nerdy accomplishments. Now that it’s cool to be a nerd, I must share: behold! My one and only poem!

HAMARTIA

From the sweltering bottom he did flee
Oh Machiavellian youth of cunning glee
A glance at heaven told him so
This is the direction he must go.
For every star he must ascend
His soul is marred, unable to mend
For every answer to glory’s call
A single star to ambition fall.
From absolute nothing he did rise
To perfection in legends and castles in the sky
“Oh shining empires!” bards will sing,
“And the ordained throne of deities, tyrants, and kings.”
Nothing then and nothing now
Will ever make our smart boy cow
Look at his hands! So stained and steeped
With black blood, red tears we weep.
But to a higher high is a lower low
A flaw in him, unexposed
Back to the bottom he must go
Where he is washed as white as snow.
6 October 2001

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3 thoughts on “Show & Tell: My One and Only Poem

  1. Just thought I’d mention that there is one award you didn’t get: Student Athlete of the Year. I have the plaque to prove it. Fun poem anyway.

  2. Dear Raych: You are my favorite Raych.

    Jeremy: I didn’t win Student Athlete because I didn’t want to show off. I didn’t think the student body could handle my deft reflexes. My plaques make for excellent door stops and spider crushers.

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