Today’s sonnet is, in fact a tribute to Turkish coffee, and was one of the drafts I had floating about the top of my post list, spoiling my view. My sweet wife laughed aloud when, after first telling her what the project was to be, I subsequently read her the result. I did warn her that it was quite severe considering the subject matter at hand. Her first coherent words were: “Celebrate the moments of your lives!” followed by another round of laughter. And naturally I thought:
But lo! Celebrate ye the moments of your lives,
Lest ye suffer eternal damnation in the fyres of Hell!
- Juan, 9:5, MJB
In any case, after a fair bit of searching, I discovered, and partially divined what, I believe, might be the true proverb regarding Turkish coffee. The problem arises because there are any number of versions of the proverb circling about the web. But I have this much at least on authority of a very fine gentlemen of Turkish descent, who showed me the circular nature of the proverb, which actually is something of a play on words. I believe the following is a fairly good guess as to the original:
black -- as hell hot -- as love sweet -- as sin strong -- as death
This is because the above is one rotation away from the following:
hot -- as hell sweet -- as love strong -- as sin black -- as death
Which my Turkish friend assures me is the point of the jest within the proverb, regardless of whether or not I have managed the proper order of things. There are, in fact, several solutions that present themselves when given some attention, however the former (which rotates to the latter), if memory serves, is the version I first heard.
In any case I was able to use both sets of combinations in today’s offering.
I could, I suppose, have gone a different route, but… well… seeing as how sin and Hell were already involved, it seemed only natural to “go all old testament” on the subject at hand. This is, after all, very strong coffee, indeed. So… Why play safe?!
I have no real certainty I have it right; there, in fact, may well have been a “dark/black as night” in the place of the line containing “love,” which would then be shifted 90 degrees with the rest.
I did have trouble with that combination, however, when it came to rotation; so if “Night” had been included in the original, as told to me by my Turkish friend, I’m not sure how the entire sequence would have worked. Mind you, I did not spend as much time with it as one might spend with the unified field theory or the general solution to the cubic equation.
One can only go so far for coffee before one gives up and says “Oh Hell!”