It’s not always me that speaks,
I’m often just a borrowed word,
My conversation carries streaks;
Echoes of the overheard.
I’m the translated remnant
Of someone else’s script,
A turn of phrase, a fragment,
Through abbreviation clipped.
I’m a short handed message,
From a seven second grab,
A truncated passage,
Today’s cut, tomorrow’s scab.
. Today’s headline … badly dismembered,
. Tomorrow’s deadline … barely remembered.
© Tim Grace, 23 October 2010
To the reader: We hear and read so much of other voices; spin, hype and noise. We probably don’t tune in to much of it but some of it grabs our attention and for a short while resonates through daily chatter. What grabs is the easily digested snippet, or factoid, that’s neatly packed with interest and primed for repeatability. On the back of efficiency catch-phrases and headlines prove themselves robust and sturdy messengers of regurgitated script.
To the poet: In keeping with the message, the structure of this sonnet is compressed into neat segments. Each bit begins with “I’m” as in: … a borrowed word, …a translated remnant, …a short-handed message; a snippet. The coining of snappy phrases, easily re-used, is emphasised in the final couplet which borrows heavily from its own form and structure; wastes nothing new and does it with less.