There is a group of young literary nerds that meets twice a month in Dallas. They read Shakespeare to one another voicing all the parts. It is a small thing but it makes me smile. To crave the classics now is to be counter-cultural and fringe. Yet, in this crass digital age, a minority of the minority have found one another. And beauty is celebrated.
As an author developing a narrow niche of readers, I take the existence of such meetings as a sign of hope. Poetry is not dead. Only mostly. And though I dare not leave my rhyming lines standing alone and exposed out in the middle of the page, I feel the courage to tuck couplets disguised as lyrics between blocks of prose – and maybe hide an odd or end among the footnotes.
At the foot of this post are songs of Lagobel pilfered by yours truly. Here, as in all my stolen stories, poems are ornamental and not to be taken seriously.
Snippet from Chapter 5
Next, King Fenton did something truly courageous…. He reentered, by his own free will, a room where his wife sat crying. He did so even though he had every reason to believe he was the cause of the queen’s tears. This, his first real show of courage, became a line in a hit song several years later –
Once a man faces his tender wife’s tears
What terror can top him? yo ho
No dragon nor caldron nor loss of career
Can shake down his courage, yo ho
Parts Pulled from Part II, Chapter 4
“You are something more … I want something more,” said the stable girl as she walked beside him. Caedmon did not answer her but began to sing a ditty from the village common.
I cannot give you darling more Than hard work done and kisses at the door Daily bread, dirty boots on the floor I cannot promise more
She joined him on the chorus and the duo exhausted all the verses twice by the time they reached the final gate.”
Childish Prattle from Chapter 12
“Something was terribly wrong with the princess and, though the royals and their loyal staff tried to hide it, the children of Lagobel skipped rope to the following rhyme –
Princess princess float up high Princess princess cannot cry Princess Pod or Princess Pea Is an old maid just like me Princess princess float up high Princess princess cannot cry Princess Pea or Princess Poo Is an old maid just like you.
Tragic Tune from Chapter 8
“The household tragedy made even the court jester loose his spry step. He was caught with his lute in the corner singing a sad tune. (This was counter to his job description and of course, garnered a bad performance review.)
In her laugh she hid no softness No sorrow’s anchor underneath Snigger snicker chuckle chortle Shine-less eyes, Smile-less teeth