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Rome Italy, near the Roman Forum

November 22, 2004
Rome: A Little Insanity

Jetlag is a combination of two things: lack of sleep and time shift. We lost 6 hours and got only spotty sleep on the plane. The 6-hour time shift plays havoc with your body chemistry, all the little tick-tock processes that tell you when you are supposed to be sleepy and when you should be up and at 'em.

There was an old lady in Rome...

In Rome I am wide awake through the wee hours. You can't give in to this or you'll never adjust. You have to sort of pretend to be asleep and your internal clock will gradually get the message. While I was playing make believe, my mind decided to write poetry.

It began, I think, when I was playing with my cell phone and figuring out how to send text messages and wondering what would make them interesting. If people are making novels and movies for cell phones, why not a gemlike travelogue? I'm no poet, but the Japanese haiku format seemed like the place to start. This verse commemorates the day of our bus tour:

Susan drinks vino,
Jim tells his travel stories:
Lunching with strangers.

Another recalls how captivated I was listening to people on the street:

Loud as the traffic,
Hypnotic as the fountains:
Italians speaking.

I actually tapped this one into my cell phone and sent it to Maria, but I felt like kind of a dweeb. But it didn't stop me from descending even deeper -- into the dark world of doggerel. I wrote a limerick:

There was an old lady in Rome
Who started to write a great tome.
But she picked up her cell phone:
"If I'm brief, I'll be well-known."
And tapped in a short little poem.

This got me so excited, I jumped out of bed and I sent it immediately to my sister Kathleen, but it was way too long for a text message and I'm sure she thought I'd gone completely insane. But if you can't go crazy in Fellini's Roma, what's the point of being here?

12.12.04

 

NOTES

Haiku: A Japanese poetry form consisting of 17 syllables in 3 lines - 5, 7, 5. There is supposed to be a seasonal theme word, but I didn't know that.

Limericks: Tips for writing.

 

 

 

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