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Poem: Isn’t it Pretty to Think So

Drunk on Grenache wine

on the balconies of Barcelona
watching between siesta eyes
and alcohol haze the locals
filling the dust filled streets
dancing to flamenco music
twirling and swirling waiting
for the trumpets to announce
the running of the bulls
replacing Spanish dancers
with screaming squeals of
battle between man and beast
isn’t it pretty to think so
a handicapped opponent
disadvantaged is a poor sport
when the beast is half dead
raging through the pain
seeking to rend flesh from bone
those that would taunt them
adding indignity to the event
the only just spectacle is
when vengeance is wrought on
their jeering tormentors and
us tourists lifting a glass to
have another drink watching
passively in indifference
isn’t it pretty to think so

I’m a fan of Hemingway, so Ms. Jade’s prompt at dVerse to use inspiration from “one true sentence” from one of Hemingway’s story was right up my alley. I chose the line from “The Sun Also Rises“–“Isn’t it pretty to think so”–as the inspiration for this poem (which I broke the rules and utilized the quote in my poem because I’m apparently terrible at following rules).


Copyright © 2021 TJS Sherman All rights reserved.

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25 thoughts on “Poem: Isn’t it Pretty to Think So

  1. That is quite haunting and it reminds me of the world today, especially with this:

    “the only just spectacle is
    when vengeance is wrought on
    their jeering tormentors and
    us tourist lifting a glass to
    have another drink watching
    passively in indifference
    isn’t it pretty to think so”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I learned so much about the man in watching the documentary. He was obsessed with bull-fighting, so obsessed that I have to wonder what secret he was hoping would be revealed one of those times. Instead just a sad, scripted cruelty where you pray for the matador to get gored. Even if so, the bull’s life as he knows it is over. To turn cruelty into spectacle, a spectacle that I think continues until this day in Spain, would seem to keep perpetual bad karma stoked for the spectator…

    I love the poem, but the guidelines for the prompt are to use the quote for inspiration but not use the quote within your poem….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As a man who fought in wars, you’d think he’d tire of violence, but perhaps he needed it. I’m hoping to get around to watch the documentary.

      I read the prompt in a meeting, and apparently did not have my full reading comprehension glasses on. No prize for me this week.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is beautifully haunting! The poem in its entirety is a wonderful nod to Hemingway and his book 💝💝 I especially love; “watching between siesta eyes and alcohol haze the locals filling the dust filled streets dancing to flamenco music.” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love your sardonic interpretation of this quote and how you ended with it. Your choice punchy lines were a pleasure to read. They still do this in Spain and I always think those who get gored flirted with death and asked for it!

    Liked by 1 person

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