Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Poem #7 for Poetry Month-Greek Ionic A Minore

We read. Then we read aloud. Some of us read aloud from a podium to a crowd. Others of us would rather be boiled in oil than read aloud in public. Imagine wearing a toga, getting to the amphitheatre and reciting poetry from memory (no scraps of paper and no pockets to put them in). This makes attempting Classical Greek and Latin poetry more difficult for North Americans with our wildly varying regional accents and ways of enunciating our syllables.

I am tackling the Ionic A Minore form of Classical Greek poetry today and will try not to go off the rails with the form which doesn’t require rhyme anywhere but which does, like all the ancient Greek forms, rely heavily on whether a syllable is stressed or lightly spoken. This form calls for a constant number of syllables in each line and requires that the stress pattern (how the poet presents it as a speaker) be: ~ ~// or light, light,  strong, strong. There are two feet, or groups of four syllables, in each line with this four measure pattern. Here/hear we go... photo of Limony, Black Krim, and Radiator Charlie's Mortgage Lifter Tomatoes. I had not yet discovered the wondrous Green Zebra tomato. Also two lonely tomatillos waiting for their brethren so Jeff can make a killer salsa verde.

                                            Writing Mind & Gardener's Hands

                                             In the bright green of this spring blur
                                             I plan ten tasks, do perhaps five
                                             Carry on, dream, of new plays, beans
                                             And more striped-green tomatoes, yes!
                                             And more stories, among poems.

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