The Existentialist Owl

The Existentialist Owl

This is a sound poem in Scots inspired by the work of the German poet Christian Morgenstern. I’d been thinking about his poem ‘Der Werwolf’, which is untranslatably about a werewolf in a graveyard tussling with a grammatical declension, and having an existential crisis. It’s also funny – a party piece beloved of German kids from poetry-reciting families.

Thinking about how the poem worked, I was playing around with the reporter’s question words – who, what, where, when, why and how – and declensions. By the time I got to ‘to whom’, an owl had appeared. And a poem.

The Existentialist Owl

to whit to who
to whit to whom

to whit to where
to whit to when

to whit to which
to whit to why

to whit to howl
to whit end?

© 2007 Jules Horne

Here’s a recording 

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