“Ode to Kaspar Hauser”

A boy appeared
At the barracks gate
A torn letter
In his hand.
Kaspar Hauser
It said
His mother is poor
His father
Is a cavalry man.

Soft hands
Blistered feet
No knowledge
Of the world
He came
From a cell
Two metres by one
With a straw bed
Upon which he had curled.

Rumors spread wild
Across the land.
Wolf boy
The adventurous
Cried.
Imprisoned
Royal heir
Came from lips
Of romantics
And conspirators
Who lied.

No peace to be found
By the hapless boy
As he was shuttled
From patron
To keeper.
Years in the dark
Made light
Sound
And smell
Into daily trials
Which became
Much steeper.

Called
Quarrelsome
Imposter
He died
Of a knife wound
To his breast.
Self-inflicted
Or viciously wielded
No sufficient answer
Has passed
The test.

Prince, prevaricator
Undetermined.
DNA, match
Or no.
Sad tales
Of his birthright
Youth
And veracity
Continue
Forever to grow.

(Written for dVersePoets, Open Link Night 84, February 19, 2013.)

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This entry was posted in Flash Fiction, historical, historical fiction, Micro Fiction, Poetry, Short Fiction, Short Story and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to “Ode to Kaspar Hauser”

  1. brian miller says:

    what an intriguing story…almost as if out of a dumas novel…like man in the iron mask…really cool…thanks for bringing my attention to it…noted to google for further….

  2. Let me try again. I was almost done and my comment got kicked off. As I was saying….
    I’d never heard of Kaspar so I read about him after reading your poem for the first time. You condensed the story down very well and all the verses except the one beginning, “No peace to be found” flowed smoothly. Even there, half of it worked and the rest didn’t (purely from a rhythm standpoint.) But it’s easy to comment and much more difficult to write! I enjoyed reading it.

    janet

    • vb holmes says:

      Hi Janet,
      Many thanks for the constructive comment–I reworked Kaspar a bit this morning. To be perfectly frank, I’m still not terribly happy with it and may do some additional revisions.

  3. Stan Ski says:

    Time for a bit of research… thanks for that 🙂

  4. Nicely Written. Loved the flow, definitely kept me glued in to see how it all ended! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Oh, I loved the movie, and it was an exciting story from philosophy and other respect. as well as very sad of course.

  6. lucychili says:

    it feels stark like les miserables

  7. I knew nothing of Kaspar Hauser until I just looked him up. You concisely tell the story, but as I read it I sensed such foreboding. Nicely written.

  8. Interesting story… I had vaguely heard of this before but this made me more curious

  9. billgncs says:

    VB — I read this aloud to celebrate the words. I do that for poems that I read that let me know they are worth it. Thanks for sharing this.

  10. vb holmes says:

    Many thanks for the awesome comment, Bill!

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