Take This Tune

Posted: Monday, March 15, 2010 by Travis Cody in
15


Take This Tune is a feature hosted by my pal Jamie at Duward Discussion. Jamie puts up a video prompt complete with lyrics to the song, and the task is to find another song or to write something inspired by the title of the song or something in the lyrics.

I really enjoy participating in Jamie's feature because of where the prompts take my thoughts and emotions. This week's prompt is Volcano from Jimmy Buffett. The question is, What is your idea of the ultimate place to spend your final years (or hours)?

Well, this one kind of has me stumped. I can't think of any place that holds such meaning for me that I'd try to be there if I knew the world was ending. I think I'd want to be with as much of my family as could be collected in one place. No matter where you are, family is the comfort that makes the place special.

So I tried my hand at a limerick. After all, I do have a little bit of Irish in my genealogy. Not so much that I claim the Emerald Isle as my home of homes. I do live outside of Seattle though, and they call this the Emerald City. I guess that combination is enough credential to be going on with, eh?

If today was the last day of all days
I might choose to spend it many ways
For with the girl I hold dear
No disaster do I fear
So in her arms for all time would I stay

That went reasonably well, don't you think? I mean, I know most limericks are funny or raunchy or silly. But I can make a sweet limerick if I want, right?

Wait, I'll throw in a haiku as well.

Though time must now end
We're together, you and I
No more could I want

Now that leads me to a little 6-word story.

End the world; I'm with her.

I guess I'm not so stumped after all, at least in terms of something to write. Here's a poetic form I've recently encountered called the American Sentence. It's a 17 syllable linear haiku in the form of a sentence, first introduced by Allen Ginsberg.

High on a mountaintop, we shall meet the end of the world together.

Well, if I'm going to write poetry then I might as well be bold and try my hand at a sonnet. I haven't written one of these since high school, so I'm not sure how successful my attempt is here. The rhyming scheme is Spenserian.

How many times have I looked to the skies,
To marvel at the majestic expanse
Of color and motion before my eyes?
Mighty birds of prey soar in deadly dance,
While intended victims escape by chance.
The spectacle of the sky is boundless
And beautiful, delighting ev'ry sense.
Still, danger often lurks from deep recess
Of space, old rocks that never coalesced,
Hurtling toward the earth at top speed.
If such threat were imminent, I confess,
If this earth's destruction were guaranteed,
Each man alone must find his own solace,
For my last hours belong in your embrace.

OK...solace and embrace...it's a rhyming stretch. But even Shakespeare cheated a little when he wrote sonnets. He gave us spelled-alike rhymes like "love" and "proved". I'm no Shakespeare, but I like an unconventional rhyme. You can catch me on ev'ry as well. So call me a cheat if you must.

But please don't grade me! I'm just rediscovering some of the classic poetic forms after 20 plus years of writing verses as they formed in my head.

The preceding poetry forms have been a tribute to my blog pal Julia from A Piece of My Mind, who participates in a weekly feature called Poetry Train Monday. I haven't had an opportunity to officially participate, but anyone reading here regularly knows that I consider myself a writer of poetry.

So I guess I've combined two excellent features this week, along with opening my writing up to the structure of classic poetry styles. Thanks to Jamie and Julia!

These have been original poems by Travis Cody, copyright 2010.

15 comments:

  1. Jamie says:

    You never cease to stun me. That was a true tour de force and now I have to check out the poetry page. BTW, how about a song suggestion for some week soon.

  1. Akelamalu says:

    Like you, I would just want to be with as many family members as possible if the world were to end.

    I like your poetry Trav. :)

  1. Linda says:

    Wow. You weren't stumped in the least here, Travis. You knew exactly where you wanted to spend your last days and had no problems at all expressing that in some very nice forms!

    Are you sure you haven't been published somewhere???

  1. Very nice poems, hon! You're multitalented. :)

  1. Now I'm gonna have to write some more poetry for Lana, dude.

  1. I think you've found your niche.

  1. Anonymous says:
    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
  1. Jeff B says:

    Well played my friend. Nice when something like this prompt sparks the creativity within.

  1. Travis says:

    Jamie: I didn't think you'd mind if I mixed two great features together this week.

    Akelamalu: The place isn't as important as being with family.

    Linda: Not yet.

    Lana: Glad you liked!

    Charles: And you should Sir!

    NNG: Aww shucks.

    Mimi: Perhaps I have.

    Jeff: I've had more success since I stopped fighting it and just wrote what I wanted to write.

  1. Anonymous says:
    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
  1. Those were good... very creative!

  1. Bond says:

    WOW...

    I should stop now, because anything more I say will not convey the excitement that word expresses for your skills.

    I have never heard of American Sentence before.

    Dude, the sonnet...freakin amazing (see the difference between you and I as wordsmiths!)

    I end with

    WOW

  1. jennifer says:

    They were all wonderful!!! Travis, how blessed Pam must feel to be loved so well.

    I don't care where I am when I go, but I do want to be surrounded by my family and for the atmosphere to be joyful.

  1. BeckEye says:

    Nice rhyming skillz, dawg! :)

    This theme reminds me of a Keats poem I've always loved:

    When I have fears that I may cease to be
    Before my pen has glean’d my teeming brain,
    Before high piled books, in charact’ry,
    Hold like rich garners the full-ripen’d grain;
    When I behold, upon the night’s starr’d face,
    Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
    And think that I may never live to trace
    Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
    And when I feel, fair creature of an hour!
    That I shall never look upon thee more,
    Never have relish in the faery power
    Of unreflecting love!—then on the shore
    Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
    Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink.

    By the way, I responded to your AI comment as part of a recent post. I hope you don't take it as me being "angry" or anything at your comment. Just trying to prove the point that I'm not an entirely crazy conspiracy theorist. Just partially crazy.