As I write, my fingers light on the keyboard, I draw a sudden blank
My muse arrives, four pawed, fur coat silky to the touch
Like Calliope she approaches staring with frankness at my scribbled crank
Regardless of her harshness I welcome her presence which can be, at times, a bit much
Calliope, it’s been said of the muse, carried an assertive flair
Only the most worthy of artists could draw her favored hand
Such as it is with my black and white short-hair
Her business is her own, I gain favor only at her feline command
Who am I to have a muse such as her?
My feeble words cobbled in an unruly state
Structure aligns in the pattern of her fur
The author rises within me, articulate
A sonnet I have penned to my feline friend
Calliope transcends all realms of self – creativity has no end
The Cambridge book on Opera, chapter 2 covered the first operatic forms. Greek drama. It has been thirty years since I studied any Greek drama and I had to research the origins of strophe and antistophe, ‘cause I couldn’t remember what they meant. Strophe – to turn. Antistrophe – to turn back again as in a reply to stroph. I won’t get all up in this with you as I’m pretty sure if you’re actually reading this you DON’T want me getting all up in this. The operative thing here is that diving into the structure of Greek drama brought me to an unexpected place – PROSODY!
And where has the study of prosody lead me? To the basics of literary structure, of course. And then, just as quickly, to poetry. No surprise, really. My little web log entry tonight is actually a long-winded excuse to inform you (dear reader) that I abandoned my reading of chapter 2 and took a wild ride into the study of iambs and their many cousins: anapest, dactyl, trochee and others. I studied all this in college circa 1982 but today it lives for me as something completely new. Here’s what I did with what I learned.