This is an experimental existential poem that uses the metaphor of a carousel to ask questions about the purpose of life. The thinking of the existentialist writers and philosophers Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sarte, Søren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Franz Kafka were the inspiration for this poem.

The merry-go-round twirls like an off-kilter top

Elephants, giraffes, zebras, leopards, hyenas, stallions

Galloping in syncopated rhythm

Noah’s circus contained on a rotating platform

Round ‘n’ round they bob

Body nods to Camus, Sarte, Kirkegaard, Nietzsche, Kafka

Eyes fixed autistic-like on some distant point on the curving horizon

The passing colors mixing into the blurred, tortured, psychedelic rainbow of Van Gogh’s palette

Yet the masked animals know not of the absurd

Electrical cords that feed their jerking movements

All part of a carnival designed as a centripetal masquerade

Bokeh Carousel by Serge Melki.

Photo Source

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Liked it
  • lillyrose on Oct 14, 2009

    great poem! I used to love the up and down horses!

  • Darla Beck on Oct 14, 2009

    Interesting poem.

  • giftarist on Oct 14, 2009

    Like this..great piece

  • Frances Lawrence on Oct 14, 2009

    The poem really had a feeling of movement and unreality.

  • Katie Marie on Oct 14, 2009

    The carousel is a great metaphor for much in life. Enjoyed this.

  • T.Rex McGoogle on Oct 14, 2009

    Great writing. I enjoyed the poem very much.

  • Hollywood James on Oct 14, 2009

    Nice poem. Life is much like a carousel…sometimes it will make you dizzy and sometimes it will make you puke, but even when that happens we get back on the ride.

  • Frosty Johnson on Oct 14, 2009

    Life is like a carousel, the hard part is knowing when to step on or off. Enjoyed your piece.

  • Madison Parker on Oct 14, 2009

    Ah, a bit of real lit explained on the net! Very cool!

  • Guy Hogan on Oct 14, 2009

    The meaning of life…it’s way beyond me. Life just is.

  • ashan1614 on Oct 15, 2009

    And we continue to go round and round, never realizing we have the ability to pull the cord and break free.

  • Sourav on Oct 15, 2009

    Very well written poem. Liked the style of writing!

  • duck01 on Mar 1, 2011

    A very interesting style of writing. The poem really feels like being on a carnival wheel.

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