24 May 2012

Poetic Form and The Eurovision Song Contest

I was just about to send off some of my ditties to a prestigious poetry competition when I had the bejasus scared out of me by reading the helpful comments of the judge, who said she preferred classical forms.

So I scratched around for any old sonnet scrumpled at the back of the wardrobe, wishing I’d gone ahead and signed up for classes on poetic form run by Katy Evans-Bush, and got to grips, at least, with the odd villanelle or sestina.

And I wish I’d got into the habit of making more use of those ten-syllable lines that worked wonders for Shakespeare, you know, limbic thermometer.

I mean Olympic amateur.

No. Incumbent perimeter

Sorry.  I’ve got that wrong.  It’s enjambement speedometer.

No.  Wait.  Atlantic chronometer.

I give up.  Thrombic barometer?

Iambic pentameter.  That’s the one.  Greek scholars will spot the penta bit that means five.  Iambic: concerning the use of iambs – one unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable, giving a total of ten syllables per line.

And what’s all this got to do with the Eurovision Song Contest? 

As you may know, The UK is being represented in Baku on Saturday night by the septuagenarian Engelbert Humperdinck.  He and I actually parted company when I took him at his word, and released him, and let him go because I didn’t love him any mo’ -  back in the sixties when his sideburns were  growing for England.

Now, we all know very well that he is not the German classical composer who lived between 1854 and 1921 and wrote the opera Hänsel und Gretel.  But I leave you in the hands of Eddie Izzard to explain what on earth our national songster is doing with such a name, and to tie up the loose ends of this blog…

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