[Milton-L] Funny "Paradise Lost" Parody

Judith Herz jherz at vax2.concordia.ca
Tue Nov 16 10:21:42 EST 2004


These are good!, Sherry!  And while we're on the subject of other voices,
Katha Pollitt and A. D. Hope have fine poems (not funny) on the subject, to
say nothing of Empson's "Insomnia."
Judith Herz

----- Original Message -----
From: "Sherry Zivley" <szivley at uh.edu>
To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, November 16, 2004 7:01 AM
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Funny "Paradise Lost" Parody


> 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
>
> they
>
> ate
>
> and
>
> f-
>
> f-
>
> f-
>
> f-
>
> fell
> 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
> saving
> 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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