Thursday, November 02, 2006

Night Journey     [terza rima]

(by way of PROLOGUE)


In the midst of life   suppose I lost my way?
if I jot as one   sitting fast beside the road
unstymied words   inscribing sans dismay

albeit the fall of evening   could forebode
a land of chill   unfazed were I by fear
befuddlement serves as wine   withal my load

what satchel of thought I carry   held as dear
were light to bear   nor needs untoward exertion
but whither proceed?   direction’s far from clear

then what if I strum my zither?   (heart’s assertion
proposes)   mightn’t the scene’s dark disarray
gleam lucent   amid minstrelsy’s devotion?

and supposing here   one settled a spell to stay?
beside the way   where a pool could play as ocean
one voyages   where shadowing branches sway




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A few months back, I wrote AN INLAND JOURNEY -- a narrative poem (in five Parts plus an Epilogue). I had tersely described it thus:
Written July 5-10, 2006, this narrative cycle (a fabulistic ballad), divided into 16 sections, is comprised of 64 quatrains in all.
The above little poem (in terza rima) will now serve as the poem-cycle's Prologue. This, then, fully completes the cycle.

========

The gentle Reader may understand that the stanzas of the PROLOGUE propose a scene wherein the overall POEM will, then, unfold -- as (that is) a Ballad sung by the Poet whom we hear in the prologue.

The portions are as follows:

============

AN INLAND JOURNEY (a fable)

PROLOGUE:   Night Journey   (in terza rima, above)

PART ONE:   At World's End
PART TWO:   An Evening's Tale
PART THREE:   Voices in Fugue
PART FOUR:   Late Beyond Matins
PART FIVE:   Figments of Figure

EPILOGUE


2 Comments:

Blogger andy gricevich said...

Ah, the epic continues.
It needn't be completed, you know; you could add a prologue to the prologue.

I like terza rima; I find it distinctly unclunky. In your third stanza there's a nice near-rhyme between "dear" and "bear." I think a form that did this consistently (end rhymes in the TR form with regular near-rhymes internally) might be pretty interesting.

Also makes me think of sonic double-meaning possibilites (deer & bear). Too fried to expand right now, and the phone's ringing... all best...

Thu Nov 02, 07:54:00 PM PST  
Blogger david raphael israel said...

Well observed, thanks Andy. True, there's perhaps always scope for another box outside the box. Such things were favored even in some ancient epics. Like where one finds that the whole of the Mahabharata or Ramahana were recited in such-and-such place by so-and-so -- and that becomes a box enclosing the story. (I'm a little vague on where one finds that device, but recall, for instance, how some stories were said to have been told by Siva to his wife Parvati, or by some or other sage or sage's wife, etc.)

Chatting with the late composer Lou Harrison on the night of the premiere of his "Final Symphony" (as he dubbed it), he remarked, "I could always write another, Last Final Symphony" [or some such -- not quite verbatim], albeit nature (at least) ultimately imposes a limit, draws a curtain.

Thu Nov 02, 11:19:00 PM PST  

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