This my friend is an epic piece of poetry. I believe that you have impressed even the cynic within me. You kept a decent flow that swept me up and pushed me downstream swiftly and I must applaud you for it.
Very nice poem. In all truth the victor is always held to such higher standards than the vanquished one. If you lose, nobody expects you to do much more. Now if you are the victor... whooo... talk about great expectations. Rather be the vanquished today and be the victor tomorrow, than be the victor today and be scrutinized until the day I die if I ever were to lose. Not all victors are what's best... and not all losers are what is worse.
Tis better to stay silent and be thought ignorant, than speak and be proven a fool.
...To the victor go the spoils... why are they called that anyway when anything that spoils is considered bad? English is a funny language that way, then again, maybe there is something to this.
It is certain that victory does not always pass to the one who is "right." If might makes right, it's only because you may face the literal or figurative guillotine for not following the crowd, which brings me to my next thought...
To whom do the rest of us, who are not in positions of leadership, (not that we are not leaders) devote our loyalties? Sometimes it is best to choose the lesser of two evils. But is that all?
Ok, so the first thing is that I suggest using a comma after "conquer" here:
A debate fought to conquer*,*
To triumph the opponent
And some sort of punctuation after the "opponent" as well. Or better, you could create a parallel by putting a noun in he second line (a debate fought to conquer--a *something(chance perhaps?)* to triumph the opponent) But it is a small suggestion, and merely my opinion and the poem does well without.
I love the listing and punctuation of the next lines:
(the lack of punctuation creates that dramatic effect--)
A peculiar comment.
A spiteful smirk.
A wicked antic.
Awesome word choice. What more can be said?
A response should be quick and cruel,
I so conclude.
This was one of my favorite parts. Why? It just sounds so right. "I so conclude" I love the use of "so" here, it's different. People usually say, I guess, just plain "I concluded." It is just that, plain and un-powerful. But "I so conclude" sounds so much more fit. Anyway, moving on...
Where is bounty for the victor?
Debasing himself on course.
Ok, from what I understood of the poem, I think this comes a bit in contradiction. We are just thinking that a response should be cruel, and then we are saying it shouldn't. Maybe the line should start with a "but"?
Hand the ribbon to your opposer
Let he who preveils burn with glee.
And speak no word which demeans.
Be the fitter man,
For who wants plentiful enemies?
For which soul yearns to be loathed?
For which sane life craves a rabid beast?
Well put, simple and clear, yet powerful and intellectual. But did you mean "which sane life craves to *be* a rabid beast"?
Victory is certianly yours,
But ultimatly mine.
Ah, paradox of sorts. I do love a good paradox.
You are the victor
But I am the vanquished.
And a wonderful finish. Could not be a better one.
As for interpretations, it is at first sight a pretty simple one--When in a conflict the victor may be the one who overpowers the other, but ultimately the victor is the one who acts morally, and is more often than not the one who "loses" the fight.
And that is my little comment--er not so little comment
ah i see the reasoning here is that "better to keep quiet rather than win by debasing the other" so is the quest of life to know that & act upon. its hard for me & oblivious to most. this lesson must be taught to everyone.