A Finale

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“A Finale”
Uninteresting blocks o’ stone molded to artistic pawns,
Royal knights maneuvering handsomely on the board,
Sturdy rooks marching straight with determined ease,
Hunchbacked bishops gliding through diagonal streets,
the Haughty queen parading all quarters of the board,
the Resolute king taking one step at a time,
Minuscule pawns killed in initial encounters,
Infinite permutations changing the match,
furrowed brows shine with sweat,
automatic clocks tick each player’s moves,
Mistakes, Misfortunes, Calamities all;
the indoor auditorium filled to capacity,
the crowd as one takes bated breaths,
remaining glued to their places.
The Battle on the fated board grows tense,
the day divested of passing hours,
tapered fingers eventually slamming the winning piece down.
Chorused smiles reflected on thousands seated,
as if let in on an oh-so-mysterious secret;
the winner proudly shakes hands for the title won,
flinging the trophy high,
high toward the kingdom of the creator.
Clenching his teeth in exuberance,
as if to Announce his place in the World of chess,
Crowning him as the reigning 'WORLD CHAMPION'
Sathya Singh

Dr. Hurwitz

11/15/12

English

At the beginning of this assignment. the initial dilemma presented itself in the form of inspiration and the lack thereof. Understanding the need for a simple yet sensory object to base my poem on led me to write about something that I thoroughly understand. Since I have been playing chess for most of my life, it felt natural to call upon my experience once again. Now, the pawns of chess are considered to be the least important pieces; to me they are the very foundation of most tactics.This led me to recall my time at chess tournaments and the vendors that sold fancy chess sets. As I started to write this poem, I felt the best way to introduce this game, and to portray the pawn as something beautiful rather than weak, was to compare the unadulterated piece of rock to its beautiful, finished state. In the following line, I let my preference for knights shine through using more personification to show their inane grace. As I proceeded to describe each piece, each deliberate intention used to achieve victory, I thought of the many chess tournaments I had played. In each of these highly competitive moments, I was under extreme duress with so many distracting factors. For example, when concentrating on seeing future moves and anticipating your opponent’s strategies, the glare from the fluorescent lights above reflected off the shiny plastic pieces becomes almost unbearable. Trying to incorporate this pressure into my poem, I decided to create an aspect of urgency and pressure using ticking clocks and the feeling of a huge audience that will witness either your glory or your shame. However, the competition only fueled my resolve for victory. In order to express my love for the game and the exhilaration that comes from winning the title so desperately sought after, I used tangible objects and actions, such as the taking of a trophy and the shaking of hands, to show absolute victory.

As the poem first unfolds, the word “blocks” is intended to create a simple, rather unimaginative figure in the readers’ head. However, soon after this image is established, I used the word “mold” to show the painstaking and thorough transformation of this dull, lifeless image into something almost picturesque; an intricate adornment to the board that serves but a halcyonic purpose. The pawn is not a fighter nor is it a tactician. He is the peon of chess; he must stay out of the way in fear of being killed. The only way he may survive is by trying only to survive, nothing more. This feature is contrasted suddenly by the “Royal” knight that chooses his own place in this “Battle”. Each of the capitalized letters in this poem have a specific purpose: besides showing emphasis on the key characteristics of each piece, these letters create an air of growing suspense. As the...
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