The Food of the Gods

A villanelle is a kind of 19th-century French poem long derided by modern poets for its fusty, pompous formalism —but, like many things, revived when the madness of the 20th century brought about nostalgia for structure. H.G. Wells was a prophetic writer and social critic who has gone in and out of favor since his death in 1946. Both are decidedly ungroovy in our currently self-navigating, chronically manifesting science fictional milieu, which is why I’m reviewing Wells’ ridiculous 1904 scientific romance, The Food of the Gods—a novel about a food that causes gigantism—in the form of a villanelle.

When, suddenly, a giant is born,
Product of misplaced toxic vial,
He looks down on our world with scorn.

Who of us can safely warn
The young colossus of his trial
When, suddenly, a giant is born?

Before we know it, we will mourn
Our lilliputian lifestyle.
He looks down on our world with scorn.

Now giant wasps, and giant corn,
Will populate the British isle.
When, suddenly, a giant is born.

With massive step, our city torn,
For him our avenues are aisles.
He looks down on our world with scorn.

Reader, no need to feel forlorn,
It’s just our future that’s on trial.
When, suddenly, a giant is born,
He looks down on our world with scorn.

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2 Responses to The Food of the Gods

  1. RCH says:

    too cool

  2. Murfyn says:

    Best villanelle about an HG Wells novel that I’ve ever read.

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