Halloween special: The Pop-up
To celebrate the spooky season, we took Edgar Allen Poe’s classic Gothic poem ‘The Raven’ and rewrote it from the perspective of a work from home agent. We then invited our talented agents to flesh it out by providing illustrations in their own styles, and we were overwhelmed by the artistic brilliance we had lurking in our midst!
– The Pop-up –
A modern interpretation of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven”,
re-imagined by Benjamin Schmidt
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
At a queue full of emails out of SLA –
While I nodded, nearly flopping, suddenly there came a popping,
No chance I had of stopping, a pop-up bright and gay.
“’Tis another ad,” I muttered, “trying to lead me here astray—
But a click and thou art away!”
Artwork by: Jae Nguyen
But once the ad was gone, my mood turned then forlorn,
Concerned and worried that I’d missed the deal buffet,
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
“’Tis some pop-up entreating entrance to my screen’s display—
Some pesky ad entreating entrance to my screen’s display;—
No great deal but mere foul play.”
Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Ad,” said I, “or pop-up, too quick and rash I was to click away;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my screen’s display,
That I scarce was sure I saw you”—here I scrolled wildly in dismay;—
“If only I had clicked OK…”
Artwork by: Michelle Engardt
Deeply into that screen peering, long I sat there wondering, fearing,
Doubting; what secret message did that darting pop-up mean to say?
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And I wished that I had spoken before that pop-up went away.
This I wished, and behold appeared a window from my system tray!
I went to click! It snuck away…
Now my curiosity was burning, and my soul was filled with yearning,
My cursor’s back-and-forth my desperation did betray!
“Surely,” said I, “it shall be back, then that window I’ll attack,
And I’ll see, then, in that ad, what bargains come today,
I’ll keep my mouse on the ready for this pop-up gone astray—
Return, ad, now, without delay!”
Artwork by: Alana Cuneo
Many begs and pleas I did splutter while my cursor ran a-flutter,
And there appeared again that pop-up, that ad so bright and gay.
Not the least obeisance made it; not a minute stopped or stayed it;
And I, without a chance to tame it, watched it blink again away —
Despite my pleadings that it stay, these it would only disobey—
It taunted me then went its way.
Much I marvelled at its speed, though yet burning was my need
My curiosity to feed— so hands clasped, I turned to pray;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing such an ad so bright and gay—
“Please, oh pop-up, how may I desperation truthfully relay?
Appear again, but this time stay!”
Artwork by: Alana Cuneo
Artwork by: Valentina Cane
Then, methought, the air grew denser, my neck and shoulders tenser,
Filled with an apprehension words fail to faithfully portray.
“Wretch,” I cried, “how is that thou knowst me? —‘Tis Google who hath sent thee!
I swear this trickery is beastly, but please do return and stay!
Return you dev’lish virtual banshee back to my screen’s display!”
The ad appeared, then slunk away.
“Pop-up!” said I, “thing of evil!—pop-up still, though sneaky weasel!—
Whether Google sent or Facebook, ‘tis no import either way,
For I’m crushed as much as taunted by this pop-up you have flaunted
On my screen by Horror haunted—tell me truly, am I prey?—
Am I—as thou hast vaunted—food?! Art thou then a gourmet?”
It came in view then popped away.
Artwork by: Angie Santamaria
And the pop-up, never sitting, forever flitting, unremitting,
Appearing and retreating, across my screen’s display;
And its flashes have the seeming of a demon who is scheming,
And I’m at precipice of screaming “Wouldst thou please but stay!?
Thy torment drives me wild this eve, all mirth so does decay!”
Then I myself did pop away…
– THE END –
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