Odes and Sonnets are…

…related in a way I just discovered.  Regarding these two, the first is a reflection of an ode to S.T.C. (of Ancient Mariner fame)  Which is written in iambic heptameter in ten couplets, or five quatrains, if you prefer (and incidentally, the way it was originally written.)  This ode will you find down below within the grey box.

In any case, as it turns out, 10 lines of heptameter will yield exactly 140 syllables, which coincidentally, is the same number of syllables as a sonnet if it does not deviate from the main of the form.  So it was relatively short work to make of them, a sonnet.   The ode I had written, some time in the middle twentieth century–I cannot say exactly when–just happened to be of 5 stanzas, which fit perfectly.  It is quite a challenge, even with the additional Shakespearian rhyme scheme, to hear it as a sonnet–the Heptametric rhymes being so strong–however; when one reads each pentametric line followed by a significant pause, the sonnet begins to shine through the ode.

And probably, one or two people might be curious as to the original ode:

He sung of Sisters close and sweet;
Of Mariners and wealth;
He droned the mournful tune of Death
As fine as Death himself.

He brought a smile to my lips
when all they knew was fear;
and to a barren cheek he brought
the first and only tear.

He dreamt a place of no return
That no man ever knew;
A quickly fleeting image
That he christened “Xanadu.”

He dreamt a man beyond a man
within that sunny dome;
An he should drink of paradise
that dream should be his home.

I know he must have lived there
In those crystal caves of Ice;
For I have tasted honey dew
And mine is paradise.

Regarding the introduction to the sonnet:  I do not usually capitalize lines of haiku, but it seemed to me appropriate as a way to honor the ode form, as did the rhymes I added–or should, perhaps, I  have written ‘rimes.’

When I was but a young lad, I had the pleasure of reading Coleridge’s complete works. His are feast for the eyes, ears, and soul. He is not hidden, and not even hidden in plain sight, perhaps because his cocaine and opium (and ether) use makes him interesting to those who proffer the uninteresting as interesting. Still we may thank God, or the Gods, or perhaps even the forces of irony, that his work has not been disappeared.

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