The POTW: Verse Til It Hurts


POTW #806
(Week of 15 July, 2012)

A friend of mine recently released an iPad game called "The Big Big Castle," where you stack things up to make gigantic rickety towers that probably fall down. I was playing with it obsessively yesterday, and it got me thinking about this weird motivation that we humans seem to have to take everything to extremes. (One wonders, for example, why a person would still be writing a poem every week after more than sixteen years...)

(Plug: Incidentally, the game is free to play, so if you have an iPad you have nothing to lose but your immortal soul.)

Ode Atop a Big Big Castle

Genetic endemic to humanity
Is compulsive accomplishment vanity
Invention's mother is the vigor
Of personal dreams of big and bigger
Only progressively fulfilled
In the remainder thus we build
According to open-ended plan
As well and as fast and as much as we can
Stacking triumph higher and higher
An incomplete achievement spire
Piling virtue or depravity
Either raises the center of gravity
Growing ever tall and thin
Increasingly subject to tremors and wind
And as kids with blocks have learned
Inevitably collapsed and adjourned
And wisdom might be tempted to explore
If more is better or more is only more

Copyright © 2012 by Dave Grossman

Permanent link to this entry:


The POTW has been on hiatus for a few years now, but you never know when I might pick it back up again. If you use a blog reader of some sort, you can add the poem to it using This Link. Or, if you like, you can have the POTW sent to you by email every week (it's FREE). With our high-tech automated system, all you have to do is send an email to from the mail account where you want to receive it, and we'll put you on the list. You will receive a confirmation by email, although it may take a while as the automated subscription process is quite complex and arcane. (You can see just exactly how complex and arcane it is by taking our guided tour.)

No strings are attached. No salesmen will visit your home. No spam will occur. Your privacy will be vigorously protected. If you have questions, consult the FAQ.

Buy This Book:

Interested in more? Check out "Ode to the Stuff in the Sink," Dave's illustrated book of "guy" verse (concerning the deeper philosophies of things like not doing the laundry, putting your feet on the furniture, and of course beer) at the Maximegalomporium (our store). And did I mention it was illustrated? Pictures!

Where Do You Get Your Ideas?:

Like any self-respecting citizen of the modern age, I use machinery.

Other Frequently Asked Questions:

Consult the POTW FAQ.