Monday, October 10, 2011

The Raven

*WARNING: This post is intended mainly for our readers of the female persuasion. Guys, you may want to click right on by. Or feel free to keep reading, but don't say I didn't warn you.*

In college, my Animal Reproduction professor was very passionate about his subject. One of our final assignments of the semester was a creative art project (keep in mind, this was a science class). The guidelines were simple: the project could take any form we liked, as long as it had something to do with reproduction.

You can imagine I was at a bit of a loss. I've always liked art, but art mixed with biology? It was difficult to reconcile the two different halves of my brain. With so many possibilities for medium and subject matter, I had no idea where to start. Plus I was already frazzled over preparing for my final exams. So I shoved the reproduction-as-art assignment to the back of my head and concentrated on not failing another organic chemistry exam.

But then a weird thing happened. Persistent, little cawing words kept floating up to the front of my brain. They went something like, Not again, nevermore. Sleep and Ibuprophen I implore. Nevermore. Nevermore . . .

It's amazing what your subconscious can do for you when you give it a chance. Suddenly, I had my repro art project all figured out without even trying! (Yeah, it was more fun than studying chemistry.)

The Raven

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I studied, bored and weary,
Over many a complex and curious volume of forgotten lecture lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of something gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
"'Tis but stress," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door."
"'Tis the stress, and nothing more."

But, distinctly I remember, the signs of this curse of my gender.
Like clockwork, it appears unbidden at the door.
Regularly, it descends as uninvited as before.
Annoyed, I wished the morrow was not a day of finals sorrow,
So that I could stay at home, safe behind my bedroom door.
Sleep and Ibuprophen, I implore!
These things I require, these and nothing more.

Thus I sat, stiffly boiling, dismayed at this interruption in my toiling,
this inconvenient, disastrous, insufferable monthly chore.
Though the hour was ungodly, yet I still had much to study,
but for this all-too-familiar caller rapping at my chamber door.
Every time it comes, I plead, not again! Nevermore!
Yet it waits, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting,
perched outside my chamber door.
A burden to be lifted
Nevermore. Nevermore.

This is why I don't write poetry. But at least I got full points on the assignment. Check out Poe's original version here.

Postscript: Sadly, I can't remember most of the other students' projects, but to this day I give props to the girl who made a uterus-shaped pinata out of papier mache.


Sara B. Larson said...

An Uterus shaped papier mache pinata??? Oh. My. Heck. OH my. Yeah. Good job on your poem!

Janiel Miller said...

OMIGOSH. The uterus. Did you ever see Patch Adams, wherein Robin Williams constructs an, er, innovative entrance for the OBGYN conference at the medical school? BWA HAH! Reminds me of that. :)

Look at you and your bad poet self! Awesome story, Maegan. And what a funny professor.

Maegan Langer said...

"Welcome, cold-handed ones!" Yes, I do remember that scene ;-)

He was a funny professor, and it was a fun class. Ah, memories.

Thanks for liking my poem!

William Kendall said...

Quoth the raven...

Very imaginative!

Russo said...

I love that people are passionate about subjects that don't even dawn on me- like your Professor who is passionate about Animal Reproduction.

Yeah art mixed with biology is very intriguing- I just had to read your poem again. So freaking cool. I think Edjar Allan Poe would be proud.

PS- I still smile over an uterus-shaped pinata out of papier mache :)