Etude #4: Things I Pause and Consider
By: John Grischow
A career as a carrier, a carrion, a canary;
An infuriated furrier; a confused dictionary;
A sound bite barrier; an outdated binary;
A bitter confectionary —
A libatious library; a countess contrary;
A discounted courtier; a coquettish courier;
An inferior superior; a genuflecting gymnast,
Genially reflecting on a symbolist —
A warrior; a worrier, a genuine gypsum quarrier;
Astoria or a storier; a tarantula on a trampoline
Twists two trinkets made of tourmaline,
A quarrel during quarantine,
A libertine, a mad May Queen
A querulous quiet, a quick-tempered quote;
To pepper the paper; preemptive pre-coat;
To shoulder a soldier,
or solder a sodder, or bother a brother,
or martyr a mother.
John Grischow is a poet and English as second language public school teacher in rural North Carolina who enjoys wordplay and making much of some things.
'Etude’ is an extremely old French word meaning ‘study;’ in music, it is used to describe a piece written as an exercise to allow a player to demonstrate their skills and abilities on their instrument. This poem is an exercise in wordplay and sonics that chronicles my thoughts one morning early in the COVID lockdown. It reflects the turning inward many of us experienced during the first weeks of quarantine.