Diane Hine

Silver Star - 4,143 Points (25 July 1956)

Hanibal B. - Poem by Diane Hine

It was round about the third century B.C.
In Carthage by the sea,
That General Hamilcar Barca's son grew up
By the name of Hanibal B.
And this boy lived with no other thought
Than elephant husbandry.

I was a calf and he was a child,
In Carthage by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was frowned upon by some
I and my Hanibal B.
With such love, that the elephant god Ganesh
Fancied him and me.

And this was the reason that in 218 B.C.
In Saguntum by the sea,
The double-dealing Romans played up, upsetting
My sensitive Hanibal B.
So that his relatives said,
‘For Baal's sake, let the elephants be!
And cross the Alps and sort Rome out
For Carthage by the sea'.

Ganesh, tiring of affairs on the sub-continent,
Trumped up some nasty weather in the Pyrenees-
Yes! - that was why my poor boy came down with a sniffle
And was a bit weepy,
That the soldiers teased him because he was talking through his nose,
Chiding, deriding, saying 'Hanibal, you're so twee! '

But our love was more interesting than the love
Of those who weren't at all twee-
Of many who were ever so twee-
And when push came to shove
No puny punic soldier draftee
Could ever convince me it was droll
To mock loving minorities.

For I, one-tusked Surus, narrating these reams
Of the beautiful Hanibal B.
Say, though we shared many rumbles and sighs,
There was never any bestiality;
And yet all the night-time, I lay by his side
Warming my darling- his skin on my hide,
In the Alps, encamped past treacherous scree,
Inscribed in my heart and my memory.

Poet's Notes about The Poem

'Annabel Lee' parody.
Narrated by Hanibal's elephant Surus.

Comments about Hanibal B. by Diane Hine

  • William F Dougherty (6/1/2012 9:04:00 PM)

    Metrically deft imitation of Poe, but the parody escapes me. (Report) Reply

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  • Hans Vr (6/1/2012 2:20:00 AM)

    The amazing story of Hanibal in wonderful verses.
    Well written
    (Report) Reply

  • (5/16/2012 7:44:00 PM)

    Annabel Lee? I do see the similarity now (once it was pointed out by Valerie) . This was an exhilarating trip. (Report) Reply

  • (5/14/2012 9:13:00 AM)

    This is very interesting and a parody it may be but a poem from an animal's perspective is a great insight. Poor old Hanibal, poor old Carthage and they think genocide is a new concept. Oh the elephants! (Report) Reply

  • (5/13/2012 9:32:00 PM)

    Diane, This elephantine excursion is so ludicrous I am literally speechless. But that could be a good thing! Amazing. (Report) Reply

  • Valerie Dohren (5/13/2012 8:14:00 AM)

    A new take on Annabel Lee? Interesting. (Report) Reply

Read all 6 comments »

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, May 12, 2012

Poem Edited: Sunday, May 13, 2012

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