Allegory of the Cavendish

Allegory of the Cavendish
from insult to injury
by Halifax
I’m a big fan of Don Quixote
even read most of it in Spanish
can’t say I understood it better
I idolize that old man, the character
he’s a coyote, an oblivious trickster
making me believe he was real
He’s my dulcimer tobacco smoke
plumed by a fine pencil mustache
to a point that curls into a smile
I want to take communion with him
break bread for his substantial ghost
put a heel to his way within my flesh
This suspended cloud of disbelief
follows me wherever I wander
just a pack mule for my troubles
the words set his lance against me
tilted on the title character of my life
he ran thru the millstone hung on me
leaving my mind engaged and spinning

0 thoughts on “Allegory of the Cavendish

  1. An imaginative homage to a great book and a great character, expressing their inspiration in personal terms. I like the play of “coyote” on Quixote and the poet’s inverting him and Sancho Panza in the lines “follows me wherever I wander/just a pack mule for my troubles.” The title eludes me.

  2. The title has little to do with the content about Don Quixote. It was a working title for the idea in an early stage and it wound up on this version more or less as a side effect of my process.
    The full version of this poem is titled “These GI Ants” and is available on Haggard&Halloo under that title. As a stand alone poem, I like this stretch. I think it works better with the other half in the poem (the one just mentioned).
    Glad it found a place here in its own right. Thank you for reading it.

  3. Allegory–“is a literary device in which characters or events in a literary, visual, or musical art form represent or symbolize ideas and concepts. Allegory has been used widely throughout the histories of all forms of art; a major reason for this is its immense power to illustrate complex ideas and concepts in ways that are easily digestible and tangible to its viewers, readers, or listeners. An allegory conveys its hidden message through symbolic figures, actions, imagery, and/or events. Allegory is generally treated as a figure of rhetoric; a rhetorical allegory is a demonstrative form of representation conveying meaning other than the words that are spoken.”
    Cavendish–“Henry Cavendish FRS (10 October 1731 – 24 February 1810) was a British natural philosopher, scientist, and an important experimental and theoretical chemist and physicist. Cavendish is noted for his discovery of hydrogen or what he called “inflammable air”.[1] He described the density of inflammable air, which formed water on combustion, in a 1766 paper “On Factitious Airs”. Antoine Lavoisier later reproduced Cavendish’s experiment and gave the element its name.
    A notoriously shy man, Cavendish was nonetheless distinguished for great accuracy and precision in his researches into the composition of atmospheric air, the properties of different gases, the synthesis of water, the law governing electrical attraction and repulsion, a mechanical theory of heat, and calculations of the density (and hence the weight) of the Earth. His experiment to weigh the Earth has come to be known as the Cavendish experiment.”

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