This Life Is Like A Wedding Cake (poem)

This life is like a wedding cake;
It’s all thought through before you bake.
And every detail must be right
Or one mistake could kill the night.
But then the wedding roles around
Where everyone is gathered round
And no one seems to care at all
Or even notice one small flaw
About the cake, which was before
Examined so intently for
The proper look, and feel, and taste,
Even the texture of the paste!
But now the guests don’t seem to care;
They eat it the thing with joy to spare.
The bride and groom, and the planner,
Even they have lost the manner
They once displayed about the cake,
Which now they all at once forsake,
And act as though they never cared,
About the cake or how it fared.
Yet if they’d known that what they feared
Would come to pass (the cake was smeared!)
They surely would have raised some hell
And moved both heav’n and earth as well,
To guarantee the perfect sight,
To make for sure the cake was right.
And so it is with what we see
In life and sociology.
The thing performed is not the same
As what was planned before the game.
Yet those around don’t seem to care;
They only know of what is there
Before their face and all the rest,
So just get up and do your best.

3 Comments

Filed under Poems

3 responses to “This Life Is Like A Wedding Cake (poem)

  1. Pingback: All Around The World Everybody Knows | Hipster Racist

  2. Danny Erlandson

    Dear Jack,

    I LOVE the form and style of this poem! First, iambic tetrameter is my favorite meter (not to “diss” the Bard, but pentameter is a little too long for my ear). Second, my favorite rhyme scheme is rhyming couplets (I like to hear the rhyme immediately, not wait for an intervening line, which diminishes my delight in hearing the rhyme).

    As for the substance of this poem, I like it for the most part, but I have a few observations.

    At first glance, Line 7 (“And no one seems to care at all”), line 13 (“But now the guests don’t seem to care”), and line 19 (“And act as though they never cared”) seem to contradict line 3 (“And every detail must be right”). But then I figured out that your point in line 3 is to present the false, subjective sense of the bride and groom (or of their families): i.e., they just THINK that if the details aren’t perfectly executed, then the day (or the wedding night!) will be ruined (I wasn’t sure why you chose “night” here—was it just to rhyme? Or were you slyly making the point, from a would-be groom’s perspective: “Who cares about the little details—the cake, the music, the ring bearers, the dresses of the bridal party, the sermonette, blah, blah, blah—as long as there’s a ‘wedding night,’ it’s all good!”). I think line 31 sustains the foregoing interpretation: “Yet those around don’t seem to care.”

    As for line 5, I love the pun: “But then the wedding ROLES [instead of ROLLS] around”! I wasn’t sure if you intended this pun or whether Providence just smiled on you. In either case it’s a felicitous turn of phrase.

    As for line 12, my little suggestion is to change it to: “And even texture of the paste!”—that preserves the consistency of the iambic tetrameter (or did you perhaps WANT to change up the “monotony” of the rhythm here?).

    And yet, the change of rhythm in lines 15-16 seems to work, as long as one reads it the right way: “The bride and groom . . . [pause] . . . and the planner, Even they have lost the manner” (i.e., if one inserts a little pause, it’s OK to change from unaccented / accented to accented / unaccented). I initially didn’t like this change up, but now I DO like it.

    Snap! I was about to share this poem with my mother—her tastes in poetry are as traditional and conventional as mine—but line 23 might prove to be too “edgy” for here (the use of the “h” word—“h,” “e”, double hockey sticks—clean up your act, Mr. Potty Mouth!).

    My only real recommendation for improvement on this fine poem is to add a few lines on the “life” part, to balance out all the “wedding cake” part.

    –Danny Erlandson (Erlo, etc.)

  3. Jack Somers

    Danny,
    Thanks for the review/critique. I must confess I did hurry this a bit — I probably should have ironed out some things better before I published it. The rhyming scheme is not consistent – I was just sloppy with that. And I agree I think it needs more on the “life” part towards the end. Perhaps I will revisit it at some point.

    But thanks again for the feedback!!

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