Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Old Zelazny tribute poem

So, I've been thinking about this poem since my post about Whelan's Z-World piece the other week, and I like it for many of the same reasons; it's a loving tribute that ties together a lot of disparate elements from Zelazny's career.

I remember seeing it on the old zelazny.corrupt.net, which was such a great site until it suddenly vanished one day. The poem had been written by someone under the name Trashman, and zelazny.corrupt.net was hosting it after Trashman's site went down. I'm going to do the same.



He's climbed up the stair
                   above Amber fair
                   and walked among shadows
                  `till no one was there
                   A silver red rose
                   flutters down through the air
                   his walk through the pattern has ended
                   and the last of the wild ones sputters and stops
                   while Camelot stands undefended.

                   Zelazny is dead
                   (do you hear me, Fred???)
                   to the ziggurat blue
                   has gone Dorakeen, Red
                   The riddle is solved
                   (was it feathers or lead?)

as a face in the
shadows looks on . . .

             . . . a gargoyle reaches but nothing is caught
                   a shrugger of thunders battles his foes
                   an alley is crossed, a leviathan sought
                   pin seven is pulled and a new face is chose
                   a unicorn forfeits a pawn. . .

he feels the story has come to a close
he tarrys, a breath. . .
and moves on.

12 comments:

  1. I like that. I think it needs one small edit to change "chose" to "chosen" but otherwise it's spot on.

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    1. I like it a lot and I'm really tremendously happy that I was able to dig up a copy.

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  2. Thanks for that! I had seen this poem maybe ten years ago and then I lost the link. Finally, I happen to find it here. A happy occasion :)

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    1. Great! I'm glad I could resurrect the poem for someone else. I had thought it gone for a long time too until I discovered that I had emailed a copy to a friend.

      It would be an interesting inclusion for the Shadows and Reflections collection too, but tracking down the author seems like it would be difficult.

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    2. Almost like tracking Francis Shadow :)

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  3. I'm glad people like the poem. I still wonder how many can get all 16 references. Feel free to re-post as you like.
    ~trashman kwalterhouse.webs.com

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    1. OK, here's my try:


      He's climbed up the stair above Amber fair [...]
      his walk through the pattern has ended
      Reference: Corwin/Amber (Tir-na Nog'th, Corwin’s signature rose, the Pattern, etc.)

      and the last of the wild ones sputters and stops
      Reference: Murdoch & Jenny

      while Camelot stands undefended.
      Reference: “The Last defender of Camelot”

      Zelazny is dead (do you hear me, Fred???)
      Reference: DOORWAYS IN THE SAND

      to the ziggurat blue has gone Dorakeen, Red
      Reference: ROADMARKS

      The riddle is solved (was it feathers or lead?)
      Reference: The riddle of the Kallikanzaros (THIS IMMORTAL)

      as a face in the shadows looks on . . .
      Reference: Not sure; JACK OF SHADOWS?

      . . . a gargoyle reaches but nothing is caught
      Reference: Not sure about this one, either; another for DITS? (Fred climbing about up there among the gargoyles.)

      a shrugger of thunders battles his foes
      Reference: Francis Sandow, ISLE OF THE DEAD

      an alley is crossed,
      Reference: “Damnation Alley”

      a leviathan sought
      Reference: “The Doors of His Face, the Lamps of His Mouth”

      pin seven is pulled and a new face is chose[n]
      Reference: TODAY WE CHOOSE FACES

      a unicorn forfeits a pawn. . .
      Reference: “Unicorn Variation”

      he feels the story has come to a close
      he tarrys, a breath. . .
      and moves on.
      Reference: “For a Breath I Tarry”

      Not quite sixteen. C’mon, guys -- what am I missing?

      --Chris DeVito

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  4. Thank you! And thanks for writing such a wonderful tribute!

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  5. . . . a gargoyle reaches but nothing is caught
    Reference: Not sure about this one, either; another for DITS? (Fred climbing about up there among the gargoyles.)

    I figured it was Morningstar reaching for Jack at the end of Jack of Shadows.

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    1. Oh, right! I should have gotten that -- it's one of my all-time favorite endings.

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  6. Man, you guys really know your Zelazny. and I apologize. After another look it's only 14 (silver-red rose does double duty) actually all the left margined stuff is supposed to be Roger giving a last look back .. but my interpretation shouldn't be any more valid than that of anyone who reads it.
    thanks ~t

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    1. I was just about to point out that Corwin's rose is silver while Michael Gallinger's is implied to be red. But you beat me to it.

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