UnPoetia:Paradise Abridged/Book I

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The Argument


This first Book proposes, first in brief, then in very brief, Man’s disobedience, and the loss thereupon of Paradise wherein he was placed. Satan, being the man that he is, revolts from God, and draws many legions of angels to his side. This action is passed over for a time, however, and we begin by joining Satan and his crew, defeated, upon a burning lake of fire at the bottom of Chaos in a place hereafter called Hell. Satan is the first to rise; he makes a bunch of badass speeches to his crew. They then construct Pandemonium and do a bunch of badass devil shit.

The Verse

Of Man’s first disobedience, and the fruit [1]
Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste
Really fuck’d shit up big time,[1] ’til we were
Redeemed at length by Jesus Son of Man
And God, sing heavenly muse,[2] and relate [5]
To mortal ears what went down on that day
Most accursèd and momentous e’er known.
I would prefer, O muse, if thou couldst skip
Ahead to parts most good; if thou skip’st not
Straight to the end, at least be so good to [10]
Forego the moralistic crap that sends
Undergrads to sleep. And failing that, O
Muse, at least be brief, for I have a thing
Later today of importance utmost.
Anyway, Satan the general Fiend [15]
With all his host of rebel angels proud
Against the Throne and Monarchy of God
Rais’d with vain attempt Heaven’s futile war.
As ideas go, it wasn’t quite the best,
And Him Power Almighty hurled down [20]
To bottomless Perdition, there to dwell
In adamantine chains and penal fire
The Arch-Fiend Satan, enemy of Man,
Who durst defy th’ Omnipotent to arms.
Nine times the space that measures day and night [25]
The Arch-Fiend fell with his defeated crew
Until they came to rest upon a lake
Of fiery and licking sulph’rous flame.
(O how unlike the place from whence they fell!)
There they lay for time indeterminant; [30]
The Arch-Fiend was the first to stir, and next
To him in power and in sin, and in
Proximity as well, there laying was
The Fiend’s right hand, whom hereafter was call’d
Beelzebub. To whom th’ Arch-Enemy, [35]
And thence in Heav’n call’d Satan, with bold words
Breaking the horrid silence thus began:
“Dude, Zelby, is that you?”[3] To which the fall’n
Beelzebub replied: “Yeah, man, it is.”
Thus answered Satan his henchman’s retort: [40]
“Zelby, dude, friend most dear, compatriot,
I assess our situation, which is
Changèd to be sure, to be one much less
Favorable than that we prior had.
Is this the region, this the soil, the clime [45]
That we must change for Heav’n, this mournful gloom
For that celestïal light? Bullshit, man.
But though bullshit it may be, it matters
Not; farewell Heav’n’s happy fields, Hail horrors! For
The mind is its own place, and in itself [50]
Can make a Heav’n of Hell, a Hell of Heav’n.”
His speech then ceased, and the superior Fiend
Began moving toward the shore, no longer
Prostrate; cast then upon his back was his
Ponderous shield, ethereal temper’d, [55]
Massy, round, red, pervertedly huge, like
The slippèd nipple of Miss Tara Reid;[4]
In his sinister hand he held his spear,
Itself a massive prick, next to which the
Shaft of Ron Jeremy were but a wand, [60]
Upon which he drew support, and then took
Uneasy steps, lean’d on like some third leg[5]
(One need a massy spear to challenge God).
The Arch-Fiend, then, now perch’d upon his feet,
Before himself beheld his host abject [65]
And lost and strewn upon the ground like leaves
Of some obscure shady Italian vale.
The Fiend inhal’d, and muster’d up his voice,
And call’d so loud that all the hollow Deep
Of Hell resounded. “Cherubs, Potentates, [70]
Thrones, Dominions, Princedoms, Virtues, Powers,
Flowers of Heaven, Champïons of Light,
Proud soldiers of an army none but the
Omnipotent could have foil’d, those that with
Me durst challeng’d that unjust tyrant to [75]
Dubious battle on the plains of Heav’n
And shook his mighty throne; get the fuck up!
Awake, arise, or be forever fall’n!”
They heard, and were abash’d, and up they sprung
Innumerable, like the rowdiest [80]
Of Kindergarten classes call’d at once
To order by the teacher just arriv’d.
The rebel host now at attention stood:
Though excellent their forms (excelling Man’s),
Of their old heav’nly names no record stood, [85]
Rais’d by their Rebellion from the lordly
Book of Life; nor had they got themselves new
Names from the cursèd progeny of Eve,
Who, through much pomp and guile, they convinced to
Forsake their old, true God and worship them, [90]
And devils to adore for deities.
Then were they known to men by various names,
And various idols through the heathen world.
Say, Muse, their names then known, who first, who last,[6]
Who did what, and when? But be about it [95]
Brief, let’s say below one hundred or so
Lines, if thou canst manage, heavenly Muse.
First Moloch, horrid King besmear’d with blood
Of human sacrifice, and parents’ tears,
He of blood and thunder Flaubertian fame, [100]
Whose Mediterranean infamy
Would be interesting if it weren’t so
Very boring. Next Chemos, or Peor,
Abomination of the Moabites,
Whose sensual orgies held some candle [105]
To Moloch’s bloody ones. Coming next were
Ba’al and Astarte, male and female,
Thunder, war, and rain embodied, also love;
Then Tammuz of renown in Lebanon;
Dagon, half fish, half man, of Philistine; [110]
Rimmon (or Hadad) who in Damascus
Sits; Now Osiris, Horus, Isis old,
Egypt’s incestuous post-metal band;
The atheist Belïal coming last.
These were the prime in order and in might; [115]
The rest were long to tell, though far renown’d:
The pagan pantheons of Greece and Rome,
That of the Norse as well, and of the Celts.
All these and more came flocking, but with looks
Downcast and damp. Satan, then, now looking [120]
On his crew, their heads bent in low defeat,
Prepared himself to orator a cure
To the stinging malady of injur’d
Pride. Thrice prepared he words to counter, but
Thrice angelic tears burst forth in spite of [125]
Scorn. And finally the Arch-Fiend managed:
“O myriads of immortal spirits,
Matchless, but with th’ Almighty, and that strife
Was not inglorious, though th’ event was dire,
I can’t fucking believe we just lost. [130]
I mean, seriously, who the Hell saw that
One coming? How could such a united
Force as ours ever know defeat, repulse?
Goddamn motherfucking bitchtits nigger!”
The Arch-Fiend, now incens’d, began to weave [135]
A tapestry of profane words most foul;
Angelic tears gave way to hellish swears.
(How fitting for the first to take His Name
In vain.) And to confirm his words, out flew
Millions of flaming swords, drawn from the thighs [140]
Of mighty Cherubim; a decidedly
Martial defiance to that which is most
Immaterïal. Mammon, then, fallen
Angel least erect (called also Vulcan,
Sometimes Mulcibre), least so because in [145]
Heaven his thoughts were always downward bent
Toward the gold and riches of Heav’n’s pavement,
Led them on to dig out Hell’s ribs of gold
And earthly riches vain. Let none admire
That riches grow in Hell, for if thou dust, [150]
More heavy-handèd metaphors await.
Say Muse, what happened next? I’m getting bor’d,
And would like to go to bed at a time
That’s somewhat reasonable.[7] I mean, I’ve
Got Geology Lab tomorrow morn [155]
Which I have to take to satisfy those
Stupid fucking Gen Ed Requirements.[8]
I know it’s only every other week,
But it’s still rather bothersome to wake
Before eight AM to sort chunks of rock. [160]
Anyway, Satan and his fallen crew
Construct out of the gold of hellish veins
Pandemonium, place of all demons,
Because they’re all fucking badass like that.

Clicketh Here for Book II

The Annotations

  1. Here, the author’s sense of poetic diction is already apparent, as he masterfully crafts a phrase, ‘fuck’d shit up big time,’ of monosyllabic words with perfect iambic stresses.
  2. The poet begins with a classically-inspired evocation of a muse, whom he beseeches to skip most of the story, as it is constantly implied throughout the work that the author has better shit to be doing.
  3. A tremendous amount of scholarly attention has been devoted to this, the first of Satan’s many speeches.
  4. A stunning example of the author’s sense of both metaphor and allusion; metaphor and allusion in this case to a contemporary skank and her oddly-shaped nipples.
  5. Much has been made of this double meaning, in addition to the author’s decision to include no correlating metaphor relating to the size of the Arch-Fiend’s testicles—most evidence suggests this is because the author intended Satan to be read as something of a pussy.
  6. The poet here closely follows Milton’s original, and lists a bunch of stuff, demonstrating—as did Milton—his exceptional prowess at listing stuff.
  7. Here, the author makes one of several fourth-wall-breaking appeals to the narrative directly, which by his own admission has grown boring.
  8. Most scholars are in agreement that geology lab is, in fact, bullshit.