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Prayer Before Writing
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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1

I am not yet written; O hear me.
Let not the bloodsucking Mary Sue or the noxious nuzgūl or the oblivious oliphaunt
or the club-handed fangirl come near me.


I am not yet written; console me.
I fear that the fanfiction writers may with foul files frame me,
with dreary dreams drain me, with loose lines lure me,
with rank reviews rack and ruin me, in the blood of their vile visions roll me.


I am not yet written; provide me
With splendid spelling to please me, good grammar to garnish me, style
to steady me, language to languish in, carefully constructed characters and
perfectly proportioned plot to pull me from your brain into your pc.


I am not yet written; forgive me
For the sins that in me the writer shall commit, her words
when she speaks me, her thoughts when she thinks me,
my treason engendered by ideas and nuzgūl beyond me,
my life when she murders Middle-earth by means of my
hands, my death when she lives me.


I am not yet written; rehearse me
In the poems I must possess and the prose I must prove
when foolish fanfiction writers form me, betas beat me,
reviewers rage at me, teenagers titter at me, the white
mountains call me to folly and Dagorlad calls
me to doom and the reader refuses
my gift and her husband hails me hilarious.

I am not yet written; O hear me,
Let not the writer who is whore to Word or who thinks she is
Eru come near me.

I am not yet written; O fill me
With strength against those who would freeze my
fantasy, would cage me into cold canon,
would make me a story id in an archive, a thing with
no title, a thing, and against all those
who would dissipate my dignity, would
mail me like mindless matter hither and
thither or hither and thither

like water held in the
hands would spill me
Let them not make me a stone and let them not spill me.

Otherwise kill me.



~~~

(based on “Prayer before Birth” by Macneige; italics indicate unchanged lines )

~~~


Prayer before Birth

I am not yet born; O hear me.
Let not the bloodsucking bat or the rat or the stoat
or the club-footed ghoul come near me.


I am not yet born; console me.
I fear that the human race may with tall walls wall me,
with strong drugs dope me, with wise lies lure me,
on black racks rack me, in blood-baths roll me.


I am not yet born; forgive me
For the sins that in me the world shall commit, my words
when they speak me, my thoughts when they think me,
my treason engendered by traitors beyond me,
my life when they murder me by means of my
hands, my death when they live me.

I am not yet born; rehearse me
In the parts I must play and the cues I must take
when old men lecture me, bureaucrats hector me,
mountains frown at me, lovers laugh at me, the white
waves call me to folly and the desert calls
me to doom and the beggar refuses
my gift and my children curse me.

I am not yet born; O hear me,
Let not the man who is beast or who thinks he is
God come near me.


I am not yet born; O fill me
With strength against those who would freeze my
humanity, would dragoon me into a lethal automaton,
would make me a cog in a machine, a thing with
one face, a thing, and against all those
who would dissipate my entirety, would
blow me like thistledown hither and
thither or hither and thither

like water held in the
hands would spill me

Let them not make me a stone and let them not spill me.

Otherwise kill me.

~~~

(Louis Macneige, 1907-?)



~~~


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