Day 280: The Man and the Metre of Spring; ‘Measure’

It is Good Friday for all you Christians out there, which means that Easter is only two days away. For me, Easter has always been the real herald of Spring. It’s when as a child I would spend my entire day running outside hunting for eggs and, as far back as I can remember, I’ve never had a rainy Easter Sunday. Now that we have the Rita’s Ice stores and we’ve grown, Easters are no longer the leisurely events of egg hunting and family gathering it used to be. Still though we go in our absolute Sunday best to mass, then go to our favorite diner for a nice big breakfast, before my parents go off to run the stores, my brother and I go separately to leech some free ice cream, and I make a simple dinner for when my parents get back. I still like to spend some time outside as honestly, Easters have really always been such beautiful days. This year with my new bow and with the range I built in the backyard maybe I’ll just spend some time shooting and enjoying the weather.

xkcd pentameter

Good Friday and Easter have me thinking of Spring, and today’s prompt, ‘measure‘, has me thinking of the most famous poetic measure of all, iambic pentameter. Best described as lines of ten syllables paired in unstressed and stressed syllables. Best exemplified by Shakespeare’s sonnets. (If you’re a lover of conspiracy theories, you should check out the Oxfordian authorship theory, which was the subject of a pretty cool movie, Anonymous. First time I ever heard of this theory was when I was in middle school and read Blue Avenger Cracks the Code. Ever since I’ve decided that this is what I will choose to believe.) It is said that the reason why iambic pentameter comes so naturally to us is that it is the form of metre that most closely resembles our natural breathing and speaking pattern, and that the rhythm mimics our heartbeat. I mean, that sounds like a hell of a lot of patting oneself on the back, so I really don’t buy it.

Anyways, so for today’s poem selection I present Sonnet XCVIII, in which the author continues to lament his long absence from his beloved.

Sonnet XCVIII

-William Shakespeare (supposedly)

From you I have been absent in the Spring,

when proud-pied April dress’d in all his trim

hath put a spirit of youth in every thing,

that heavy Saturn laugh’d and leap’d with him.

Yet nor the lays of birds nor the sweet smell

of different flowers in odour and in hue

could make me any summer’s story tell

or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew;

nor did I wonder at the lily’s white,

nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;

they were but sweet, but figures of delight,

drawn after you, you pattern of all those.

Yet seem’d it winter still, and you, away,

as with your shadow I with these did play.

For those of you celebrating, happy Easter, and for those of you not, I hope you have some fine weather to enjoy as well.

Day 280

Man: 247 Loneliness: 33

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