Posted tagged ‘poem about jealousy of misfortune’

“Schadenschaden” (Why NOT Me? – Gig of the Would-Be Victim)

June 23, 2012



Like a golfer in search of a handicap,
he found himself mired in schadenschaden–
sadness at another’s sorrow, a slap
face-felt at the sight of their tear-sodden
victimhood, superior martyrdom;
schadenfreude cast to the old school, those
who did not, in the night-dark of some
disappointed sheets, self-scold, “you fool,” then pose
as Rimbeaud’s more tortured kid brother, the “should-
have-been-even-greater than–, but-for’ kind
of guy, some sad sod so clearly struck by
circumstantial lightening that no one could bind
him to words like “his own fault.”  If fucked by
life quite obviously, you had a real gig,
he thought, like that poor bugger there, the pig.


It’s always dangerous to write a poem from a voice that is not exactly admirable, but also, I hope, fun.

The above was inspired by the dVerse Poets Pub “Poetics” prompt on “logophilia” hosted today by Anna Montgomery and Claudia Schoenfeld.  Anna, a great wordsmith, challenged us to write something relating to words, perhaps even coming up some new ones.   I do not actually know if schadenschaden is a new word since it is, more or less, German, a language that I do not speak.  The idea is that it’s the inverse of schadenfreude (taking joy in the misfortune of others).  In English, we often talk about “sour grapes,” yet another variation.

Have a great day, check out dVerse and all the great poems based on this prompt.

AND if you get a chance, check out my books!  Children’s counting book 1 Mississippi -for lovers of rivers, light and pachyderms.  Or, if you in the mood for something older, check out Going on Somewhere, poetry, and Nose Dive, perfect for a pool or beachside escape.