Saturday, October 02, 2010

Honk if you love Jesus!

I am constantly on the lookout for real-world Haikus – appropriate expressions that unintentionally translate directly (with perhaps a just little editing) into that particular form of Japanese poetry (17 syllables in three phrases of 5, 7, and 5 respectively).

This is especially true on vacations, where Mars and I deliberately expose ourselves to new things, and have the time and energy to study them.

Alas, our recent trip south to North Carolina uncovered no such metrical gems. There was however one billboard sign alongside a rural small town road that I thought held promise, until I counted the syllables. When I got home I started Googling to see if there was a way to make something out of this group of words that I had been given.

Surprisingly there are actually other forms of poetry – who knew?

And with a little work I found one - English Hymns - into which my newfound phrase could be fitted. There are three meters within this genre – each one identified by the number of syllables per line, and by the rhyme scheme.

Common meter 8 6 8 6 a b a b
Long meter 8 8 8 8 a b a b
Short meter 6 6 8 6 a b c b

My found utterance fits perfectly into the middle two lines of the short meter.

So here is my first English Hymn entitled “Favorite Outdoor Slogan Sighting of the Moment”.

Carolina billboard -
"Honk if you love Jesus.
Text if you want to meet Him now." -
Pert near perfect thesis.

While searching through the Internet I also came across the lyrics and video of a song entitled “I was just flipped off by a silver-haired old lady with a ‘Honk if you love Jesus' sticker on the bumper of her car” by Antsy McClain and the Trailerpark Troubadors

I was feeling pretty Christian, I was loving all my neighbors,
When I saw that bumper sticker there, I didn’t think twice.
My hand went for my horn, And I pushed it with conviction.
When I saw that lady’s finger, It almost put my heart on ice.

And it makes me want to cry, But I may never have the gumption now
To read those one line sermons In bright yellow, black and white.
I’ve been buoyed up so many times While stuck in rush hour traffic,
And forgive me Lord, for saying, But my faith is weak tonight.

You say, ‘Maybe it’s a rental. She could be the second owner.
She could be a Godless sinner In a loaner from a friend.’
While that helps (I do feel better), I just can’t help but see it
As a sign the world is doomed, And we’re that much closer to The End.

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