NaPoWriMo: Richard and Ben


Poor Richard’s Almanack, 1748 edition, Library of Congress


Both entertaining and useful,

my Philadelphia publication,

the aim, to instruct,

to construct for the common people,

a guide of this and that

They scarcely buy any other book.

So I look

to the future—

not really an adventure

(though I could tell you some).

Poor Richard’s Almanack will be a venture

an enterprise, both profitable and astute.

Imagine the success, imagine the acclaim

and several editions to my name.

But printing being as it is,

I’ll fill in spaces, viz,

but not bad lines of my own

When good ones of other people’s are so plenty.

I’ve borrowed the name, too,

you may have noticed, as you glance through.

Poor Richard seems to suit.

Here you will find wisdom of the ages,

the days in Old Style and New.

Oh, perhaps something you knew?

But I have included

for your edification,

The anatomy of Man’s Body

As govern’d by the Twelve Constellations

And information on many nations.

I’ve provided the phases of the moon

and whether the tides comes in morn or noon.

Each month has a particular number of days.

April hath thirty days, you see?

The planets are also of great interest:

though the sun’s light shines on Mercury,

in such a way that makes it

intolerable to our eyes, unfit

some believe, yet still that distant sphere

may just be inhabited.

Lest you think I’ve scattered too many words

upon the page here

Let me now offer you some free advice

(normally you must pay the price)–

Paintings and fightings are best seen at a distance.

Follow these sage words, my friend,

And perhaps you’ll also be an emissary

to the French Court or elsewhere be

someday, with reports that might be read.

Yet keep your wits about you,

and be wary of the words you spew–

Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.


NaPoWriMo, Day 16   Today’s prompt was Almanac Questionnaire, but I chose to write about an actual almanack.    No idea what this form is–apparently Ben speaks in rhyme. Why not?



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