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Treasured Island "For as this appalling ocean surrounds the verdant land, so in the soul of man there lies one insular Tahiti, full of peace and joy, but encompassed by all of the horrors of the half-lived life." ----- Herman Melville from: Moby Dick The rocky cliffs rise above the sea, like a great wall holding back the watery main. Nations vie to control small bits of earth still, the appalling ocean surrounds the verdant land, and erodes the soil 'til nothing's left but reef, like one who is stripped of all the frivolous trappings foolishly acquired in time, and then in the soul of man there lies one insular Tahiti, a secret place which first must be found then explored and once known, treasured above all else. It is the prize esteemed the elusive isle… full of peace and joy The journey there will be filled with choices. To risk the rifts can be its own reward, stay anchored in fear and you will be encompassed by all of the horrors of the half-lived life. --------------------- Judi Van Gorder A Glosa
Explore the Craft of Writing Greek Verse Latin Verse An Elegy, (from Greek -elegeia "song of mourning") Obsequy ("funeral" from Latin to "follow out") or Threnody (from Greek "to sing a dirge") are basically different names for a genre of poetry that focuses on the sorrow of something ending and is a sad and plaintive poem. The elegy dates back to 7th century B.C. Greece and is written as a sustained, formal, ode. The subject is most often the occasion of a death or a solemn event, it is a lament or funeral song. There was a period in Rome in the 1st century B.C. when an elegy was a love poem, love chased death away. Latin influenced elegiac love poems are found in France in the 16th century A.D. But by the 17th century the elegy and death were reunited in English, German and French verse. The elegy originally used elegiac meter which has a melancholy rhythm, however the verse is not necessarily written in couplets. The frame of the modern elegy is written at the poet's discretion although elegiac stanzas in iambic pentameter quatrains with cross rhyme are still commonly used. A modern day elegy, President George H.W. Bush 1924-2018 When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd by Walt Whitman (1st 2 sections) from Memories of President Lincoln 1 When lilacs last in the dooryard bloomed, And the great star early droop'd in the western sky in the night, I mourn'd, and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring. Ever-returning spring, trinity sure to me you bring, Lilac blooming perennial and drooping star in the west, And thought of him I love. 2 O powerful western fallen star! O shades of night -- O moody, tearful night! O great star disappear'd -- O the black murk that hides the star! O cruel hands that hold me powerless -- O helpless soul of me! O harsh surrounding cloud that will not free my soul. Monody (Greek "singing alone") An elegy meant to be sung by a single mourner. A genre of usually short verse that laments a death with the frame, meter, and rhyme at the discretion of poet. Monody by Herman Melville To have known him, to have loved him After loneness long; And then to be estranged in life, And neither in the wrong; And now for death to set his seal— Ease me, a little ease, my song! By wintry hills his hermit-mound The sheeted snow-drifts drape, And houseless there the snow-bird flits Beneath the fir-trees’ crape: Glazed now with ice the cloistral vine That hid the shyest grape.