Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: "The Curse of the Red Baron"

Here is today's freebie, based on prompts from [personal profile] siliconshaman and LJ user My_partner_doug.


"The Curse of the Red Baron"


It is the nature of humanity
to combat horror with humor.

Thus Charles Schulz took
Manfred von Richthofen and
pitted him against a flying beagle.

Even when the Bloody Red Baron
shot him down, Snoopy just
shook his fist at the sky and cried,
"Curse you, Red Baron!" or
"Curses, foiled again!"

Comic strips led to movies
and a series of pop songs,
continuing the adventures of
Snoopy vs. the Red Baron.

The catchy melodies spoke of
conflict and persistence and even,
in the Christmas special,
the strange chivalry of
"the knights of the air."

In the end, Snoopy finally
got his revenge and shot down
the Red Baron, only to see him
standing atop a hill, swearing
ferociously in German.

Long after World War I
has faded into history's
relentless march of battles,
the Red Baron stands out
as a vivid personage and
the curse of the skies ...

exeunt, pursued by a beagle.

* * *

Notes:

Snoopy is a cartoon beagle drawn by Charles Schulz.

The historic figure Manfred von Richthofen appeared as Snoopy's nemesis, the Red Baron.

Their combat began in comic strips such as this, followed by songs.  The Royal Guardsmen started with the lyrics for "Snoopy vs. the Red Baron" and later "The Return of the Red Baron" and "Snoopy's Christmas."

Exit, Pursued by a Bear is an entertainment trope with its roots in the Shakespeare line "Exeunt, pursued by a bear."  It is a traditional way of indicating defeat or death without actually showing dismemberment onstage.  It also belongs to the comic tradition due to the sheer incongruity, and has often been played for laughs.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, fishbowl, free stuff, history, poem, poetry, reading, weblit, writing
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