Finis Origine Pendet: Insulting the Prince

Tanay Nandan '25
October 26, 2023

In the world of transistors, silicon, steel, resides a set of 0s and 1s named the Prince.

Jailed by Supercell, to dash, lance, and exclaim “Ha Ha,” for millions of cursing prepubescent children, who have not yet finished their homework. It takes 14 of their worthless seconds to generate a prince.

With a clanging of steel, and a foolish overconfidence, he lands on his horse, only to be chipped away by skeletons, defenseless against minions, or kited by a skillfully placed ice golem.

His health bar drained to zero, the prince disappears in a puff of pink smoke. Doomed to reappear, and vanish, many more times until the player finally decides: the Prince is not worth 14 seconds of their time.

Such is the daily routine of the Prince.

Jailed, as we are.

Hopeful, as we are.

Gone, as we will be.

(Inspired by “Insulting the Prince,” by Martin Espada)

Tanay Nandan ’25 was awarded a 2023 Lamont Younger Poet Prize. The prize honors poems of exceptional promise written by preps and lowers at Phillips Exeter Academy as well as achievement in the early years of a student’s developing craft. 

This poem first appeared in the Fall 2023 issue of The Exeter Bulletin.