Gay invited me to re-link this post to dVerse, as she felt that (even before I read her article) that it would fit with the “Beat Poetry” theme, so if you have already read this post, you don’t have to read it again 🙂
I’ll try to write something else later, so I hope you don’t mind too much if I link up 2 poems to the same prompt…
Sorry, before I get to the poem, I need to give a few notes of explanation:
One of the songs that the Dave Brubeck Quartet was known for was Blue Rondo a la Turk. A good portion of this piece is written in 9/8 time. Basically, this means that there are 9 beats in each measure, and the 8th note receives one beat. Usually, when a piece is written in 9/8 time, it is played with a rhythm of Strong weak weak Strong weak weak Strong weak weak. Brubeck, however, put the “emPHAsis on different syllables.” Instead of 3+3+3, he wrote the piece to have 3 measures of 2+2+2+3, and then a fourth measure of 3+3+3, and then that 4 measure rhythm would repeat. To translate that into poetic terms, you could say that the poem was written in quatrain stanzas with 3 lines of trochee, trochee, trochee dactyl, and then a 4th line of 3 dactyls. This irregular rhythm seems, to me, to give a rushing/impatient feel. I wanted to write a poem to this rhythm, and immediately thought of my youngest son, Kai, who is a VERY busy boy.
If you listen to the above link, you can hear how Brubeck and his friends made this work. Of course, Brubeck’s song has a lot more complexity than just the rhythm I’ve listed above, but the 9/8 feel of his piece is what I wanted to capture in my poem. You may also notice that the last stanza of my poem has 13 syllables in the final line instead of 9. If you listen to the end of the Brubeck composition, you will see that I have modeled this after his tune. I found that sticking to the same rhythm throughout didn’t allow for a metrical resolution, but when I followed Brubeck’s example, the poem felt like it could end.
One other point: I have capitalized the first letter of stressed syllables to help the reader/reciter get the feel.
And now, if you have been patient enough to wade through all the technical details, here is the poem:
Walking Down the Street with My young son
Discov’Ring the World is So much fun
See him Skip and Play and Jump and run
Look at this Look at that Here’s a stick
Ev’ry Canine We hapPen to see
Gets a ‘ThusiAstic “Hi puppy!”
Life is Simply Grand when You are three
Look at this On the ground See the worm!
Things that I might See and Just pass by
Are uNique to Him and Catch his eye
Things i Take for Granted: He’ll ask why
Why did that Leaf fall down From that tree?
This world I guess Might someTimes seem bland
Unless Our horIzons We expand
So walk With a Child Hand-in-hand
And maybe You will see Something new
Don’t be Afraid To look Through their eyes
I susPect that You’ll have A surprise
That a Kid so Young can Be so wise
Seeing things That we miss Everyday
That’s beCause the World to Them’s still new
And they Haven’t “Learned” to Cloud their view
An adVantage Over Me and you
So why don’t We let them Take the lead And be our Guides
Posted for dVerse Open Link Night. Come on out and share your own poetry, or read the works of some other great poets!