Neil Hester

All poems © Neil Hester unless otherwritten

Location: North Carolina, United States

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Aesop's Fables

I recently began reading a collection of Aesop's Fables, and the idea of rendering the fables as short poems, styled similarly to my Childsongs, came so naturally that I couldn't help but sit down and immediately start a new series. Just as writing for paintings is a great way to give yourself a base to work from, rendering short stories, tales, or fables has its benefits. However, it's important to always stretch beyond the work of art you're basing your own piece on, so that it has some purpose other than mere narration (or, at the very least, provides a very apt and musical narration of its partner). Now, let's read a fable and follow up with a poem:


The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs

A man and his wife had the good fortune to possess a goose which laid a golden egg every day. Lucky though they were, they soon began to think they were not getting rich fast enough, and, imagining the bird must be made of gold inside, they decided to kill it in order to secure the whole store of precious metal at once. But when they cut it open they found it was just like any other goose. Thus, they neither got rich all at once, as they had hoped, nor enjoyed any longer the daily addition to their wealth.

Much wants more and loses all.

(Translated by V.S. Vernon Jones)


The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs

One a day did not suffice,
Though each great treasure shone.
With giddy haste and one brief slice,
They profited in flesh and bone.

The sick sensation must be bold
When two, once rich, recall
Their own folly and loss in gold:
Much wants more and loses all.


Both pieces stand alone, but they benefit from being presented together, especially since both are very concise. In fact, that's why I enjoy Aesop's Fables so much and consider them to be great didactic stories: they are extremely succinct. Rarely does one stretch beyond half a page. When writing is didactic, it has a tendency to be boring and preachy, but the Fables present brief stories with clear lessons, using different types of animals for immediate characterization to achieve further brevity (an obvious example: The Lion and the Mouse). They are also extremely accessible, making them fit for adults and children alike. Definitely a top choice for bedtime reading- Aesop's Fables are quality stories, and teach kids (and adults) morals, to boot!

Take Care,

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


Coincidentally, my house flooded just as major reports on Hurricane Gustav stormed the media (among other things). Firstly, I'm glad that Gustav didn't directly hit New Orleans, which, in its current state, would have taken major damage even though Gustav only possessed high category-two winds. Secondly, even though having a pipe in the bathroom bust while noone is home is not at all life-threatening or outright devastating, I have to say that it's quite a pain replace most of a house's carpeting and wooden floors. Fortunately, the living room and the kitchen are on slightly higher ground, so my family's currently just living out of those two rooms, with all of our stuff kind of crammed into any empty space available. Lastly, I'm aware that every sentence of this paragraph begins with an adverb. Almost. Wait, that's an adverb too.

Bizarre wordplay and minor crises aside, I've also been flooded with schoolwork. Fortunately, everything seems to be calming down now. What a way to start my last year of high school.

This is a poetry blog, and it's been a long time since I've actually posted anything of my own. So...


A Day of Hunting

Another white! Six butterflies
Flittered in his little cage.
He softly hid to soon surprise
A seventh, on his sunlit stage.

Ten- he ran to fetch his pins.
This time, I’ll really pin them!
To grow by way of little sins,
He stuck the pins within them.

Well, almost. It was too early still
For him to deaden beauty.
Why rush to grow and long to kill
By grown-up sense of duty?


Another Childsong. These poems are fun to write because they provide a perspective that is all too often overlooked or used too dramatically. I also feel like I'm a little closer to the age of my nameless little characters than most writers, since I just turned 18, so it's not too hard to construct the children in my poems. I probably still have a little of the naiveté of childhood left in me, but it's fading fast.

It's September. This begins the third cycle of months since I started featuring every month. This blog is getting old.

Hope everyone's well-

Take Care,