[Milton-L] Funny "Paradise Lost" Parody

Sherry Zivley szivley at uh.edu
Tue Nov 16 06:01:49 EST 2004

You should have known that eating those William Carlos Williams apples
would have produced worlds of sins!

			Paradise Lost--Reauthored

If Gertrude Stein had written PL, Satan would have been a "Serpent in the
grass, alas!"

If Dorothy Parker had written PL, it would read,

			Men always were sapples
			For girls who eat apples.

If Shakespeare had written PL, Eve would have succumbed to the temptation
of the Serpent Claudius, and Adam would have spent the rest of the play
trying to decide whether "To eat or not to eat?"

If Lord Byron had written PL, Adam would have left Eden alone to find love
and adventure, while complaining all the while that his "Lady intellectual"
had  caused him to be "hen-pecked to fall."

If Bonshu had written PL, Eve would have been cut from the story and Adam
would have found enlightenment by recognizing that Satan was merely "a
cormorant with one wing flapping."

If Gwendolyn Brooks had written PL, it would read

			We cool; we
			eat fruit; we
			doom; we
			die soon.

If Elizabeth Barrett Browning had written PL, Eve would have never fallen.
She would have remained  abed all day making lists of how many ways she
loved Adam.

If T. S. Eliot had written PL, Satan would have been a snickering footman,
Eve would have averted her head, insisting, "That is not what I meant at
all," and Adam would never have dared to become involved with Eve, an
apple, a peach, or any other ripe fruit.

If William Wordsworth had written PL, the poem, "Postlapsilude," would have
had a lot less action and would have been a whole lot longer.

If Emily Dickinson had written PL, it would have been much shorter and
would have rhymed.

If Allen Ginsberg had written PL, the garden would have been reduced to an
imaginary crepe paper flower hanging on a coat hanger in a closet, Eve
would be irrelevant, Satan would have ruled the
academic-military-industrial complex, and Adam evaded jail by going to the
nuthouse, where he would have  concluded  that everything in the fallen
world  was "Holy!  Holy!  Holy!"

If John Donne had written PL, Death would have been just as proud as punch.

If e. e. cummings had written PL, Satan would have been a goat-footed
fruit-vendor, the apple would have been mud-luscious, and  adamandeve would
have been off pruningandpraying until








			a- 				part.

If Alexander Pope had written PL, the party would have been indoors,
everyone would been better dressed, Eve would have been a deeply
décolletagéd flirt, Adam a fop, and Satan an overly-zealous hair fetishist.

If William Carlos Williams had written PL, Eve would have simply pinned up
an apology note that read

		I have eaten
		the fruit
		that was in
		the garden

		and which
		you were probably
		for eternity

		Forgive me
		It was delicious
		so sweet
        	and so tempting

If Ezra Pound had written PL, it would read,

		The apparition of that demon in her dream;
		Nibbles of a ripe, red orb.

If Andrew Marvell had written PL, Adam would have been off by the Ganges
penning philosophical love poems, Eve, by the Humber, would have refused
him till the conversion of the Jews, and Satan would have been a very
well-stuffed little worm indeed.

If Franz Kafka had written PL, Eve would have imbedded the apple in Adam's
shell and left him to rot in the garden.

If D. H. Lawrence had written PL, Satan would have been a gamekeeper and
Eve's fall would have been a whole lot more fun.

If Geoffrey Chaucer had written PL, the Prologue would have begun

		Whan London fog no longer rolles too thick in
		Thanne longen folk to goon out apple pickin'.

If Robert Frost had written PL, Eve's  having taken the road less traveled
would have made all the difference.

If Sylvia Plath had written PL, Eve would have been unable to distinguish
between Satan and Adam, would have faked death whenever she was miffed,
and, in one of her rages, would have inadvertently offed herself.

If Walt Whitman had written PL, he would have overlaid a complete Ptolemaic
cosmology with a complete Copernican cosmology, added Chaos, then lauded
the whole shebang of "contrarieties" as "multitudes."

If Ernest Hemingway had eaten PL, it would have ended with Eve's  saying
"Oh, Adam, we could have had such a damned perfect eternity together" and
Adam's replying "Yes, isn't it pretty to think so?"

If Walt Disney had filmed PL:  Picture a young girl singing "Someday my
prince will come."   Now picture a mirror and place before it an aging
Satan in drag.

If Ogden Nash had written PL, it would read,

			The serpent lives 'neath shedding skins
			Which partially conceals its sins.
			I think it clever of the lizard
			In such a state to fix Eve's gizzard.

With deepest apologies,
Sherry Zivley
English Department
University of Houston

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