Wednesday, October 11, 2006

"Beethoven tells me" [gnomic verse]

The romantic era hasn't ended!
          Beethoven tells me as much
the notes he wrote remain extant
          and speak of current things
ah we who live this dreamy life
          you say are out of touch?
there's still a sky!   there's still a sea!
          and birds are born with wings


Lyle Daggett said...

Mmmmm. Nice. I like the way it opens up and fills with wind, like a sail, in the last two lines of the poem.

david raphael israel said...

Thanks for feedback, Lyle. The poem owes a bit to my long-ago study of classical Chinese. Among classical forms is a 4-line form like this (7 characters per line). After having read a number of them, the basic rhythm and pattern -- which involves the sequential rhetoric, the step-wise unfolding of thought embodied in words -- gets internalized. (I didn't happen to draw the mental connection with those antecedents till considering your comment -- and then realizing this is certainly a poem following the said pattern and method.) Typically those poems involve syntactic phrase divisions (as here) of lines into sub-parts of 2/2/3 beats (or, in the Chinese, characters). It's a pattern that seems fairly "natural" (in both Chinese and English); but such nature is no doubt nurtured by example.