Our last craft resource for you is this online collection of recordings of Borges’ lectures on poetry and many other topics. Borges was, in addition to being a poet and writer of strange and compelling short stories, an inveterate professor who lectured widely in both Spanish and English. His lectures are seeded throughout with strange factoids, fascinating observations linking the poets and poetry of different ages and languages, and an overwhelmingly omnivorous approach to knowledge.
And for our final prompt, I’d like you to take your cue from Borges, and write a poem that engages with a strange and fascinating fact. It could be an odd piece of history, an unusual bit of art trivia, or something just plain weird. While I cannot vouch for the actual accuracy of any of the facts presented at the links above (or any other facts you might use as inspiration!), I can tell you that there are definitely some poetic ideas here, just waiting for someone to use them.
My poem’s based on the Medieval Times and all that was weird then. And with this I complete 30 poems in 30 days. Another journey with NaPoWriMo comes to an end. I thank the Organizers for being so creative with the prompts and pushing us each and every day till the last.
Once upon a time,
Barbers were surgeons
and Doctors were priests
Blood was produced in the liver
And a sick man was a sinner
If the teeth were sore
there was no denture
So they took it from the mouth of a dead soldier-
If the stomach was bad
Bile of a boar collected
and up the back side stuffed
Enema! they said
Men wore shoes that were two feet long
Playing football was a crime, the criminal imprisoned
Strange were the ways,
During the Medieval ages
The poor took bath in the river
While the rich in a tub filled with water,
the same used over and over
Today’s hotels were called hospitals
where the healthy went in, to rest
while the sick stayed at home
away from the rest
“Butt” was a unit of measurement
Meant 120 tonnes of wine
And couples could resolve their fights
They simply had to fight a duel
Now I could go on an on
listing all that was bizzarre during those times
and how animals could be tried for and convicted of crimes
But this should suffice for now
If you wish to check it you can
Just google up -“Weird facts or maybe strange and surprising ones
About the Medieval Times”.
For him that has quinsy [a severe throat infection]
“Take a fat cat and flay it well, clean and draw out the guts. Take the grease of a hedgehog and the fat of a bear and resins and fenugreek and sage and gum of honeysuckle and virgin wax. All this crumble small and stuff the cat within as you would a goose. Roast it all and gather the grease and anoint him [the patient] with it.”
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Note: pictures from the Net