Reflections/poem biography for Evolved

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“Pikawotsit’s an electric creature. This much
I’ve gleaned, I think. I’ve asked –
but Pikadespeak’s faster than light-speed.”

Pokémon is an internet game, a television show, a collector card series and many other things that companies can make money from. It was also a fad that my boys went through – briefly, but intensely. I knew nothing about these cartoon characters, and still can’t claim to be hugely informed about their exploits. What interested me was the language, the fact that overnight my children had started talking in words that made no sense to me.

Of course, now that they’re 12 and 14, this is not uncommon. Only the other day, I learned for the first time about rickrolling – duping people into clicking a hyperlink for something that seems logical and relevant but then turns out to be Rick Astley’s ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’. (On the plus side, it was relief to know that the reason they knew this song from my teenage years was not because they thought it was great!)

But Pokémon was the first time this different language phenomena had happened to me, so I thought I might as well have some fun with it, and language more generally.

Electric Questions - lit version smallerDiscussion Point

Does the use of word play humour in this poem help to stop it from becoming too nostalgic or didactic?

Inspiration/Writing Prompt

Take an area of modern life that has developed its own slang – text speak, tech terms, cool kids’ chatter… Try contrasting this with everyday or even old-fashioned language for humorous effect. Is there a poem or story which can be created from such juxtaposition, or from the space that jargon might leave for confused communication or misunderstandings?

plentyfish cover (1)At poetry readings, I often enjoy hearing about the background to a particular poem. ‘Wednesday Reflections/Sometimes I smile’ is my attempt to share the inspiration, frustrations, pain, philosophies and thoughts that lie behind my poetry collection ‘plenty-fish’. Each Wednesday, this blog will contain one of these ‘poem biographies’, as well as points for potential reader discussion and also writers’ prompts. My collection ‘plenty-fish’ may be bought from Nine Arches Press, here, or my website, here. More Wednesday Reflections on other poems in the collection can also be found here.