ysabetwordsmith: (Fly Free)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This is the second freebie for the April 3, 2018 Poetry Fishbowl thanks to new prompter [livejournal.com profile] elenbarathi.  It was inspired by a prompt from [livejournal.com profile] annonynous.  It also fills the "Multiple Personality Day / March 5" square in my 4-1-18 card for the Spring Fest Bingo. This poem belongs to the Cthulhu Mythos.


"A Question of Credentials"


It hangs on the wall in a plain black frame:
a Doctor of Thaumaturgical Arts and Sciences
degree from Miskatonic University, a yellowed page
signed, in part, by John Carter (President) and
H. P. Lovecraft (Board of Trustees Chairman).

The gilt edging of the diploma gleams in the sun,
and the pen-and-ink illustration of the university
looks so real, even in miniature, that it almost
seems you could almost step right into it.

The professor himself is old and strange,
muttering to himself in dead languages.

People speak of him in whispers, too,
as if he is not one personality but many,
and they're forever uncertain who
might answer the door today.

No one quite wants to call him
insane, but then again, no one
actually calls him sane either.

He's still important, after all,
and no one else knows
the things he knows.

Madness, it seems, can be
a question of credentials.

* * *

Notes:

The Cthulhu Mythos is a shared world founded by H. P. Lovecraft, inspired by his short story, "The Call of Cthulhu." From there it attracted many other writers. Among its most salient themes are hidden knowledge and insanity. It's often left to the reader's imagination whether a given character is possessed, has a split personality, or is just plain delusional.

Miskatonic University is a prestigious college in the Mythos. It's a good place to find books that will destroy your mind.

(no subject)

Date: 2018-04-05 02:46 am (UTC)
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
From: [personal profile] mdlbear
Fun!

(no subject)

Date: 2018-04-05 03:26 am (UTC)
technoshaman: Tux (Default)
From: [personal profile] technoshaman
Poor and batshit is called crazy, and they come for you with the straitjacket. Rich and batshit is called eccentric, and they treat you with kid gloves because they want your money. :P~~~~~~~~~~~

(Not at you, Ysabet. Just sayin'.)

(You can run, but you can't Hyde...)

(no subject)

Date: 2018-04-05 06:37 am (UTC)
kengr: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kengr
John Carter, late of Virginia?

I actually have various documents from Miskatonic University. Library card, meal card for the cafeteria... :-)

Re: Yes ...

Date: 2018-04-05 02:12 pm (UTC)
kengr: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kengr
I can't find the product I bought, lo these many years ago, but I found something similar...

http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/231969/The-Miskatonic-Collection--Volume-5--Miskatonic-University?cPath=74_29274

Re: Yes ...

Date: 2018-04-05 11:51 pm (UTC)
kengr: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kengr
Yeah, printable or at least scanable documents for historical documents are really useful. so are ones for fictional locations.

Which reminds me of a friend who is in the uniform fetish community. He managed to put together a Gotham City PD uniform. Using stuff from real police uniform providers. Even got a badge.

Discrepancy

Date: 2018-04-09 05:49 am (UTC)
heartsinger: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heartsinger
The header doesn't mention a prompter, but the file you sent me for this poem mentions LJ user annonynous.

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