Wednesday, November 4, 2015

"I Sing of A Maiden.."

















What else? - "I syng of a mayden…."  page 56 - This has a real uncanny sound. Does anybody know this one? Has anybody run across this ever? - "I syng of a mayden that is makeles" - matchless - makeles, matchless

"I sing of a maiden/That is makeles;/King of all kings/To her son she ches./ He came al so still/There his mother was,/As dew in Aprille/That falleth on the grass/ He came al so still/To his mother's hour,/ As dew in Aprille/That falleth on the flour" - [that's so pretty] - "He came al so still/There his mother lay,/As dew in Aprille/That falleth on the spray/ Mother and maiden/Was never none but she;/Well may such a lady/Goddes mother be." 

- Mary, he's talking about. Robert Creeley has a poem, I think, paraphrasing  this, the poem in the Don Allen anthology, the rhymed poem by Robert Creeley in the Don Allen anthology. You've got that? - "As dew in April/That falleth on the flower" - I've forgotten..Do you know Creeley's work at all..? enough to remember that?

I think it may paraphrase that one, or something like that, some early poem of Creeley's paraphrases that - [Editorial note - It's not entirely clear what poem of Creeley's Allen is referencing here, presumably, "the rhymed poem..in the Donald Allen anthology" - "Ballad of the Despairing Husband"]

I keep.. I hear that, you know, in, you know, while writing, I hear "As dew in Aprille/That falleth on the grass", "As dew in Aprille/That falleth on the flour",  "As dew in Aprille/That falleth on the spray". That's pretty the way it's spelled - A-P-R-I-L-L-E - ""As dew in Aprille" - it's like long April. Next time I write a poem about April, I'll spell it that way. It's just a pretty way to spell April - "Aprille" ("Aprilly") -  Maybe, "He came al so still/To his mother's hour,/ As dew in Aprille/That falleth on the flour" - I don't know how they pronounced it then, but it looks like they pronounced it "Aprilly".  "He came al so still/There his mother was" - to see what it sounds like - "He came al so stille/There his mother was,/As dew in Aprille/That falleth on the grass" -  He came al so stille/To his mother's hour,/ As dew in Aprille/That falleth on the flour", "He came al so stille/There his mother lay,/As dew in Aprille/That falleth on the spray" - it's so pretty! - it's like candy!  - What is it actually? - [Allen reads measured and slowly] -  "He came - al so still -There his mother - was - As dew - in Aprille - That falls - on the grass". Actually, to analyze the rhythmics of this and imitate it would be kind of interesting, because it's a very variable.. there's a.. it's a very variable meter going on (it's real simple, it sounds simple - "I sing - dada da-da da-da - da da dada-da -  "I sing of a maiden/That is matchless" - I sing of a maiden/That is makeles;/King of all kings/To her son she ches./ He came al so stille/There his mother was,/As dew in Aprille/That falleth on the grass" - da da-da da-da, da da da-da, da da-da da, da-da da, da da - datta-da, dede dada, da da da-de-da, de-da, de datta de da, da  - "That falleth on the grass - de-da de-da da, de-da, da-da da-da de, da-da de-de da-da, da-da-da-da da-da - "That falleth on the flour" - da-da, de da-da de da dada da - "He came al so stille/There his mother lay" - "That falleth on the spray" - Da-da-da, da-da-da, da-da-da-da - Maid. it's like musical, the musical coda now, you know, the summary of it  - Da-da-da,  da-da-da, dada-da-da-da" - "Mother and maiden/Was never none but she" - da-da, da-da, da-da, dada da-da-da - "Well may such a lady/Goddes mother be." -  "Well may- such a lady - Goddes mother be." - So, if you sing it just as sound, you get the bones of the rhytmics. You find that it's real simple but with tricky little variations musically. It might be interesting. Would anybody.. It might be interesting to try and write a poem in those meters. So that's the assignment for next time - write a poem in those metetrs… yeah, "I sing of a maiden" - Write a poem with those meters, and, also, if you can, put a tune to it (you know, if you can remember a tune). I'll try it too. It's just so pretty, it might be interesting to get inside of the poem by trying to imitate it.

You want to know how to analyze it? - There's several ways to dig it. I mean, the variations of it are.. the variations within it, or the ways of digging what is going on are interesting. First of all you can.. first of all, it's assumed that you can pronounce it aloud . So why don't we all pronounce it aloud - simultaneously! - Yes? - One, two, three [class gives a choral performance of "I sing of a maiden.."] - That's pretty good! - Well, yeah, super nursery-rhyme, celestial nursery-rhyme. So, okay, you've got some.. if you were wondering how to parse it out, the sound, how to parcel out the sound, first rule is, if you're wondering where the accents fall, figure out what it means - "I sing of a girl that's got no sense, I sing of a maiden that is makeles" - For that, you know, you'd get an accent - "I sing", "maiden", "makeles" (and you might have some funny little "that is makeles" - "I sing of a maiden that is makeles" - that's some funny line - that thing is makeles - "that" has some little weight on it but), "I sing of a maiden that is makeles" - like "I sing of a girl that makes pancakes" (that's the way you'd say it if you were saying it for making sense - (it's) the way you find out how a rhythm fits on the tongue. You know, if there's no other… The golden rule here is  find out what the sense of the poem is and then pronounce it as if you were talking vernacular and then you'll find out what the rhythm is. -"King of all kings/To her son she ches " - in other words, "King of all kings/For her son she chose" - da da-da da, da da datta-da . Does that make sense? (because you don't say "King of all kings", unless you want to say, "King of all kings", if you want, you can have "sing of a maiden that is makeles/ King of all kings/To her son.." - Well, you could do it either way  - ""King of all kings", "To her son she chose.." - "King of all kings/that her son she chose" - So, it's pretty much up to you how you want to interpret the speech of it. And that happens in most poems, tho' there's a little bit of possible variation, tho' it's always interesting to know what the original poet would have said (which you can nowadays find by listening to records). 

So if you want - "He came al so still", actually  (because it means all-so-still), where you coulde emphasize  the "al so still" - Oh, as he came all so still to his mother's bower".  

Okay, why don't we try and do that one at home. Is that...

[Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately twenty-seven-and-three quarter minutes in and concluding at approximately thirty-seven-and-three-quarter minutes in]



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