Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Twins by Sambrooke Leigh

In form and feature, face and limb,
I grew so like my brother,
That folks got taking me for him,
And each for one another.
It puzzled all our kith and kin,
It reached a fearful pitch;
For one of us was born a twin,
Yet not a soul knew which.

One day, to make the matter worse,
Before our names were fixed,
As we were being washed by nurse,
We got completely mixed;
And thus, you see, by fate's decree,
Or rather nurse's whim,
My brother John got christened me,
And I got christened him.

This fatal likeness even dogged
My footsteps when at school,
And I was always getting flogged,
For John turned out a fool.
I put this question, fruitlessly,
To everyone I knew,
"What would you do, if you were me,
To prove that you were you?"

Our close resemblance turned the tide
Of my domestic life,
For somehow, my intended bride
Became my brother's wife.
In fact, year after year the same
Absurd mistakes went on,
And when I died, the neighbors came
And buried brother John.

This poem has a funny touch to it. You would think that you would be the name that you were named upon bith, but this poem has a different perspective on it. The name that was given to him at birth was actually his brothers in his eyes. Through their life he looks at it as when his twin got in trouble he was the one really getting in trouble because it is his name. Which is even more interesting that he would know of the name switch since it happened when he was being washed by a nurse and still too young to know these things. I think that the rhyme scheem helps make the reader recognise the light tone to the poem and that it is not too serious. There's a lot of mistaken identity in the peom, but I don't think that it is meant to be taken too seriously. I think that he introduces the question: What if we all were to have twins to blame things upon and share our lives with?


Blogger Lilan said...

I think it's cool how you bring up how the speaker uses his twin to shirk responsibility from his own life, and that him having this twin allows for this sharing and fluidity of his own life.

3:23 PM  

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