Saturday, October 15, 2005

Muse Ballade Impromptu

I'm not messems a floozie for the Muse
(the Muse methinks is decorous & choosy)
her methods might resemble talking blues
(I'm crying all the way to the jacuzzy)
but say again what was your question? scusi
does "poetry" mean nothing left to lose?

Some babble with a bottle full of booze
while others more abstemious refusie
one pays in many ways the varied dues:
one doesn't get a waiver -- if you're rusey
you might perchance perfect poetic doozie
you might as well: there's little left to lose

The lawyer with the ornery client sues
the golden-throated crooner grows enthusie
the lover in a thousand letters woos
the patient gets impatient when he's woozy
antiquity returns! & you're its newsie?
read all about what wasn't left to lose


Flash-drafted yesterday (amid blogo-comments, but now revised), when a visitor (courteously & flatteringly) asked, "Are you a disciple of the Muse or what?" The poem's first line takes up (via disposing of) merely one (of myriad possible) "or what"s. While this might not (far as I'm aware) follow some established ballad form, I've filched the word ballade (ignoring the specific form) as hat-tip to François Villon's ballades (some trace tincture of which I'd be pleased to imagine might infuse itself into this oddment of a poem). This Villon mention now reminds of Merwin's superb poem "Search Party" (in his volume Travels) -- directly modelled on a (likewise superb) Villon ballade. Perhaps I'll expand on that thought in some future blogo-musing. ("Search Party" I'd count among my fave poems.)

But back to the present specimen. I feel some justification for neologisms "refusie" and "enthusie" –- when recollecting Robbie Burn's "wee little mousie" in its "housie." Newsie, woozy, floozie and doozie are well-known & scarcely demand apology; for the Italian scuzi [pardon moi] I need proffer no excuse. N'est pas?

Riding in morning cab with a printout of this blogopost, I changed two words -- bringing into the poem both "decorous" and the (I presume) new coinage "rusey." Am particularly happy w/ the latter word -- it's both more rusey & more choosy than the word ("choosy" in fact) that erstwhile inhabited its seat. Whether the spelling should be rusey or rusy (or rusie) seems a question.

7 Comments:

Blogger Frida said...

Nets Pah? How foreign! (a very little joke)
Huge fan of beat nick, improvised poetry. This was a fun romp. I know nothing of poetry except that I occasionally read it and enjoy it. Pablo Neruda has to be one of my favorites.

Sat Oct 15, 04:43:00 AM PDT  
Blogger david raphael israel said...

Thanks for the note Frida.
I'm painfully illiterate in French; yet so appealing & charming does the language seem, I occasionally can't hold back from resorting to a stray word or two (which amounts to all I know). Putetre the merest dash of pepper enriches the soup.

Sat Oct 15, 05:00:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Enemy of the Republic said...

Well, that was me who credited you with the Muse! Thanks pal! This is clever, particularly with the rhyme scheme. If I were to undertake such a project (which means that I should), I would find it very freeing in terms of my own poetic technical inhibitions.

I still think you are dashing after the Muse with a beer chaser on the side. You are doing some fine things here. I am learning from you.

Sat Oct 15, 05:52:00 AM PDT  
Blogger david raphael israel said...

Dear En,

do undertake &
then overtake such projets!
& thanks again for the butt-kick of flattery (projecting me into the project, that is).
cheers, d.i.

Sat Oct 15, 06:21:00 AM PDT  
Blogger david raphael israel said...

tempted to put "poesie"
in place of "poetry" in last line
of 1st stanza -- but I'm resisting that temptation. (Poesie is a word that suits the poem maybe, but not that line, alas.)

Sat Oct 15, 06:27:00 AM PDT  
Blogger ~River~ said...

The neologisms are great! I love them!

"Poesie"? Yes, I think that would work better than "poetry". It goes well with the other 'sie'-ending thingies.

I'm all for booze-babble. :)

Sat Oct 15, 09:43:00 AM PDT  
Blogger david raphael israel said...

I'm (typically) more of a teatotler in practice [or don't have booze-babble as a poesie modus operandus ;-0] -- but a poem like this (in certain parts) endeavors to present "a survey of the field"; the sense of covering the range of possibilities, i.e. all circumferences of the circle, is the central "method" of such poetry; Villon's did this beautifully, and I'll have to give exempli in future. Whitman & Ginsburg, in quite different ways, did so as well; methods of beautiful forms like ballade & villanelle are more musically compact.

I didn't bother to credit the direct antecedent to the refrain. It's a rather popular (in US radios etc. over past X decades), rather bathetic (perhaps one could say) or at least (less judgmentally) pathetic ballad [come to think of it] by Kris Kristofferson. The refrain begins: "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose..." Admittedly I don't so much care for the song; but the phrase is a superb phrase!

I was happy that I was able to vary the exact wording of this phrase in each of its 3 incarnations, here.

Well: Google tells me Roger Miller sang the song -- Me and Bobby McGee (the version I've heard ad infinitum) but that it was popularised by Janis Joplin (don't recall her version). Glancing at the lyrics, they have some good ponts (must be something about the music that evoked this notion of bathos). I shouldn't be harsh on songs I'm stealing from!

Language circulates freely among poetry and song, memory and thought, in the ocean of thoughts & words. Rivers, clouds, cups & saucers: it blows in from one place & rains down somewhere else.

/ / /

I'll ponder the poesie word River, thanks. Usually, "poesie" suggests olden poetry specifically. Ezra Pound could never get enough of the word (I think, vaguely): certainly he found the thing itself (olden literatures) his happiest source.

When W.S. Merwin went to visit Pound in St. Elizabeth's (the mental hospital in which Pound had been placed after WWII), the oldster's advice to the young poet [this was in the 1950s] was: study root languages (olden poetries, in preference to the branches). Merwin himself allowed he'd studied French for sake of reading Villon. I guess I keep returning to this Villon / Merwin connection.

I'd never thought of making a poem with this mode of rhyming -- the A & B rhymes so similar. Amusie.

Sat Oct 15, 10:27:00 AM PDT  

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