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An Ant's Tale

by Teague


Author's Note: Yeah, I had this random idea at the bus stop. I saw some ants crawling around and was amused by their patterns of walking. Then I found an ant on my arm while on the bus, panicked, and brushed it off. Somehow, that led to writing about that poor ant's perspective.

Yeah. I don't profess to be a poet, so the few poems I write are random, meaningless free verse. Feel free to tear it apart. I don't particularly care.

An Ant's Tale

The quest; it begins
and I scurry around,
my brethren with me,
all searching for
something to eat;
fast, fast, fast as can
be, hunting for
food.
Up, down, haven't I
been here before?
Search, my brethren, search!
Food, food, must find
food.
Quickly now, time
is short.
Something strange!
What is this?
It must have
food.
Up, down, haven't I
been here before?
This something strange,
it is huge! Bigger
than the colony.
My brethren surround it.
Something so big
has to have
food.
The something, it moves!
Brethren, help me!
I am nearly swept away.
It shakes and shakes
and rattles and rattles.
Then it stops.
Maybe it moved to get
food.
I must find it!
I scurry around,
fast as I can
hunting, hunting for
food.
Now I am on something
else, another part
of this something
strange, perhaps?
No time, no time,
I must find
food.
The something, it moves!
And suddenly I am
...flying?
Such a strange sensation!
Maybe I am flying toward
food.
I land; I bounce.
It hurts, but my
quest must continue.
There, I see it!
Food!
It is heavy; still,
I pick up my prize.
Huzzah!
Food!
But...
where have my brethren gone?


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Sun Jan 08, 2012 3:16 am
Snoink wrote a review...



Teague:

I know it's been a while, but I still friggin' adore this poem. This clearly shows off your true literary talents. I hope your Sun Devil friends aren't spoiling your head for poetry. You were born with it.

Also, I want to tell you that today, I found food, and I was really excited. But then I realized that I had no one to share it with. DUN DUN DUNNNNN.




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Tue May 26, 2009 1:21 am
Snoink wrote a review...



To be fair, it does seem to have the same sort of idea as Robert Frost's poem did... :P

Departmental
by Robert Frost - 1936

An ant on the tablecloth
Ran into a dormant moth
Of many times his size.
He showed not the least surprise.
His business wasn't with such.
He gave it scarcely a touch,
And was off on his duty run.
Yet if he encountered one
Of the hive's enquiry squad
Whose work is to find out God
And the nature of time and space,
He would put him onto the case.
Ants are a curious race;
One crossing with hurried tread
The body of one of their dead
Isn't given a moment's arrest-
Seems not even impressed.
But he no doubt reports to any
With whom he crosses antennae,
And they no doubt report
To the higher-up at court.
Then word goes forth in Formic:
"Death's come to Jerry McCormic,
Our selfless forager Jerry.
Will the special Janizary
Whose office it is to bury
The dead of the commissary
Go bring him home to his people.
Lay him in state on a sepal.
Wrap him for shroud in a petal.
Embalm him with ichor of nettle.
This is the word of your Queen."
And presently on the scene
Appears a solemn mortician;
And taking formal position,
With feelers calmly atwiddle,
Seizes the dead by the middle,
And heaving him high in air,
Carries him out of there.
No one stands round to stare.
It is nobody else's affair
It couldn't be called ungentle
But how thoroughly departmental




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Mon Sep 15, 2008 7:27 pm
Sapphire wrote a review...



Teague wrote:An Ant's Tale

The quest: it begins
and I scurry around,
my brethren with me,
all searching for
something to eat;


That punctuation mark is my only suggestion. :lol:

Well, I could also point out that some of the line breaks were a bit strange, because normally they're used to emphasise or hint at a certain point. You did use this when you took a new line for each 'food', but I think some of the other breaks were just so the lines weren't too long.

It doesn't really matter though. This was still a great narrative poem. Is it a shame that my favourite section is the end? :lol:

The stream of consciousness of an ant = genius!




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Sat Sep 13, 2008 8:03 pm
Plushoriam wrote a review...



Okay, when I first read the title I thought "I'm not gonna read this". Nothing against you, it's just I;m not too keen on insects.
But I decided to read it anyway and I glad I did.

I have to agree with silver SUNLIGHT, this poem was so hysterical I nearly wet myself (ewww) :? . I love how all the concepts in this poem just fit together. And how many times does the word "Food" appear in that poem? LOL!

Overall, this is a very humourous poem that has been pulled off well. I hope to see more of you in the future, and you MUST write a sequel poem, I want to hear more about this little ant! :D




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Sat Sep 13, 2008 8:52 am
Snoink wrote a review...



This is a truly brilliant poem.

The quest; it begins
and I scurry around,
my brethren with me,
all searching for
something to eat;
fast, fast, fast as can
be, hunting for
food.


I love how this stanza introduces the conflict. Using the metaphor of an ant looking for food with his brethren quickly transforms into a man trying to find his purpose in life. Initially, he believes that he is in search of food and that, in order to complete his "quest" he must search "fast, fast, fast" and only then will he find something to eat. The repetition of "fast" seems to give the impression of running around in circles. It is not necessary to write "fast" only once, as is conventional, but many times, almost as if the narrator is afraid of getting lost. In this way, the ant is lost. This seems to compare the ant's quest of food with man's quest of material goods and his rush to complete his different quests that he has. He has no qualms with this, of course, because his brethren are with them. Everybody is caught in his own quest to search for material goods "fast, fast, fast as can be." The rat (or, in this case, ant) race of humanity, lost and running around in circles, unaware of what his true purpose is.

Up, down, haven't I
been here before?
Search, my brethren, search!
Food, food, must find
food.
Quickly now, time
is short.


As the ant, symbolizing the man, searches his existence, he realizes that he is trapped in his desires. Although he is searching for material desires, he realizes that he cannot find these desires, not within his lifespan, and he quickly tells his brethren to search more, hoping to fulfill his material desires.

Something strange!
What is this?
It must have
food.
Up, down, haven't I
been here before?
This something strange,
it is huge! Bigger
than the colony.
My brethren surround it.
Something so big
has to have
food.


This is where he finds something more than himself. He believes it to be food, to be the material desires that he's been longing for, and yet he's confused because he's been over there before. If he was here and before and there was no food, then why should there be food now? For the first time, it occurs to him that there is something greater than himself, than his community, than his little world, and it astounds him. However, he can make nothing of it. Trapped within his thinking of his material desires, he classifies the object that is greater than him (perhaps a symbol for God?) as a "food. ("Something so big / has to have /food.") He does not realize that this thing that his colony surrounds has other motives, other purposes to live. Instead, he is trapped in his own world.

The something, it moves!
Brethren, help me!
I am nearly swept away.
It shakes and shakes
and rattles and rattles.
Then it stops.


In the last stanza (I split them up for you, lol,) the ant saw that his brethren surrounded this "something" and so that gave him the feeling of safety. With his colony surrounding this "something" he could not be touched. But with this movement, suddenly he is swept away from his community. Although he cries out, "Help me!" this cry apparently goes unanswered. Instead, all he can hear is the sound of movement. In this case, man has been thrown into a conflict with the divine and is swept away from all of society. Alone and disoriented, he clings on and hopes for the best, living through the struggles until finally it stops.

Maybe it moved to get
food.
I must find it!
I scurry around,
fast as I can
hunting, hunting for
food.


This "divine" moment has been brushed aside. The "ant," in order to better understand the situation better in his own terms, personifies this "something" as someone with his own desires. So, though he doesn't explicitly label this "something" as an actual person, he refers to this "something" as having desires similar to his own. This ant believes that the movement is only to get "food" and he immediately goes in a frenzy and scurries around, "hunting, hunting for / food." The way this poem is laid out makes the "hunting, hunting" seem quicker and give it a special frenzy. Remember that the only other repeated word is "fast." By having this repeated such, it makes the ant seem like he is running around in circles. By assuming that this "something" moved in order to get food, he has missed out the point that this "something" has other goals, different and alien to his own.

Now I am on something
else, another part
of this something
strange, perhaps?
No time, no time,
I must find
food.


Suddenly, the ant finds himself on another part. He pauses, momentarily. "Now I am on something / else, another part / of this something strange..." He realizes that something is bizarre about this experience. He is touching something larger and more complicated than his comprehension, he is touching something divine, and yet he still can't admit that to himself. When the thought comes up, he quickly brushes the thought aside with "No time, no time, / I must find / food." In this way, he is rejecting the divine and trying to hold on to the earthly desires he has always known. He does not want to know more about the divine. If he stopped and thought about it, really thought about it, he would not be able to find "food." He would not be able to fulfill his material desires. So he continues on, deliberately unaware of the divine.

It should be noted that it's strange that he is desperately looking for food. This brings in mind the three temptations of Christ where Christ is tempted, first with bread, then with grace, and finally with power. Christ refuses the bread. It is interesting to note that it is bread... bread seems to be synonymous with health, so why wouldn't you want to have health? However, scholars have said that Christ denied bread because it was a link to what is Earthly and it would simply enslave him to Earthly material wealth. He would become omnipotent, and he denied this to set an example that true freedom means a total and complete separation of material goods.

This ant, of course, follows the opposite course.

The something, it moves!
And suddenly I am
...flying?
Such a strange sensation!
Maybe I am flying toward
food.


The ant, for a brief moment, has transformed into something like an angel. "The something, it moves!" and suddenly the ant flies. It's a magical transformation, really, and the ant describes it as "strange," which happens to be the same adjective he uses to describe "the something." He realizes that the divine has tough him, though he really can't comprehend it. But perhaps he doesn't want to comprehend it. After all, the next moment, he sees his divine experience as a way to get closer to "food" and to other material possessions. He doesn't mind flying, he doesn't mind the experience, as long as it gets him closer to his own desires. And this is his undoing.

I land; I bounce.
It hurts, but my
quest must continue.
There, I see it!
Food!
It is heavy; still,
I pick up my prize.
Huzzah!
Food!
But...
where have my brethren gone?


It is interesting to note that as soon as he focuses on his Earthly desires, he falls back again. It is almost as he is rejecting the divine in order to get closer to his material possessions. He lands, he bounces and it hurts but his "quest must continue." He has rejected the divine, this time finally, and hurts as a result. But he doesn't mind, as long as he can pursue his Earthly desires. And finally he does succeed. He finds so much "food" that there will be no more hunger in his world for a very long time. He cheers for this, but then quickly stops.

The last line is brilliant and really makes this poem. For the first time, he doesn't have to think of food anymore. His Earthly desire is fulfilled and he no longer has to worry. He has achieved everything that he has set out to do. But he can no longer go back to his brethren. He doesn't know where they are. To him, they are lost. In his pursuit of material goods, he had forsaken both his people and the divine and now he is gone and lost forever from both worlds.

Rather depressing, actually.

Oh well. :P

Nice poem, really. :P

*stars*




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Sat Sep 13, 2008 3:36 am
silverSUNLIGHTx wrote a review...



Haha, this poem was hysterical.
I love your little ant's obsession with food.
Very unique perspective with the ants and their brain patterns.
I don't really want to point out any errors because with this type of poem it just... works.
Great job. :]





But what about second breakfast?
— Peregrin Took