Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Muses

By THLaird Colyne Stewart, April AS 50 (2016)

Urania is to me a mystery,
As is Terpsichore her sister fair,
Polyhymenia does not to me
Deign speak, but Clio has me in her snare.
Both Calliope and Thalia share
My love, as does Erato and her harp,
In Euterpe’s embrace I find some care,
While Melpomene’s teeth are long and sharp.

Written as a  huitain (pronounced wit-tain) which ws a 15th century 8-line strophe with 8-syllable lines (French) or 10-syllable lines (English), using three rhymes with one of these appearing four times and with the same rhyme for the fourth and fifth lines. The rhyme scheme was usually ababbcbc, and sometimes abbaacac. The huitain could be a stand alone poem, or used as a unit in longer poems. Sometimes multiple poets would each supply hutains to make a longer piece. It was most popular in the 15th – 16th centuries; in the 18th it was used for epigrams. There are those who think this French form is based on an older Spanish one[1].

[1] Travis Lyons: 219.

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