Portrait of the Artist as a Dodo, 1598-1662
#1
We were a sluggardly bird,
or stately, depending on the witness,
living off fallen fruit,
on an island paradise of inept predators.
We built our nests on the ground out of grass
flightless as we are
and laid one egg per clutch.

Hunger came to paradise
sailors scavenging for food.
Delighted with our tameness
they ate us by the hundreds,
and gave us an insulting name.
Portuguese with a taste for monkey meat
let some of their omnivorous delicacy get loose,
and they multiplied
came at us in troops,
stealing the eggs, dragging off the juveniles.
The Dutch brought pigs
whose feral generations
rooted up nests and eggs and devoured our young
and finally abolished us.

We found an islet
where the tide stops the monkeys and pigs.
But over there I see
some shipwrecked sailors
wading in our direction.
“All persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.”  Kurt Vonnegut
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#2
(02-12-2021, 11:46 PM)TranquillityBase Wrote:  We were a sluggardly bird,
or stately, depending on the witness,
living off fallen fruit,
on an island paradise of inept predators.
We built our nests on the ground out of grass
flightless as we are
and laid one egg per clutch.

Hunger came to paradise
sailors scavenging for food.
Delighted with our tameness
they ate us by the hundreds,
and gave us an insulting name.
Portuguese with a taste for monkey meat
let some of their omnivorous delicacy get loose,
and they multiplied
came at us in troops,
stealing the eggs, dragging off the juveniles.
The Dutch brought pigs
whose feral generations
rooted up nests and eggs and devoured our young
and finally abolished us.

We found an islet
where the tide stops the monkeys and pigs.
But over there I see
some shipwrecked sailors
wading in our direction.


I want to return to this as there is a lot to like here but the constant tense shifts are too distracting, are the deliberate?
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#3
Just sloppiness.  Here is a corrected version I hope.


We were a sluggardly bird,
or stately, depending on the witness,
living off fallen fruit,
on an island paradise of inept predators.
We built our nests on the ground out of grass
flightless as we were
and laid one egg per clutch.

Hunger came to paradise
sailors scavenging for food.
Delighted with our tameness
they ate us by the hundreds,
and gave us an insulting name.
Portuguese with a taste for monkey meat
let some of their omnivorous delicacy get loose,
and they multiplied
came at us in troops,
stealing the eggs, dragging off the juveniles.
The Dutch brought pigs
whose feral generations
rooted up nests and eggs and  devoured our young
and nearly abolished us.
We found an islet
where the tide stopped the monkeys and pigs.

But over there I see
some shipwrecked sailors
wading in our direction.
“All persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.”  Kurt Vonnegut
Reply
#4
.
Hi TqB,
really like the idea and the title (not sure about the dates though) but I'd like to hear a more distinctive voice (for the bird). Perhaps cut out some of the 'encyclopaedic sections' and replace them with how the bird feels/reacts to the events.
You've got dodo in the title, so no need for words like flightless.

(No predators are inept, evolution wouldn't allow that Smile )
(Delicacy should be plural, given some)

We were a sluggardly bird,
or stately, depending
on who you ask. But me
I always thought we were
...
beauty being in the eye
of the whatever. Besides
who asked them ...



Best, Knot


.
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#5
fixed "inept" predators and "delicacies"

i had just finished looking at portraits from the period (well, a little earlier) and i like the encyclopedic tone, which is the same tone as the portraits in my mind
“All persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.”  Kurt Vonnegut
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