Where no man has gone before:

To be a bit more accurate, regarding poets in any case, a few such men have gone here before.

I believe, although I choose not to look for it now, I have offered up another post on this subject; as such, this is the continuation of that post; in that, this morning, I have released my version of the fabled “Nightingale Woman.” It appears that there have been a few attempts to finish this work, which, by all accounts was not actually finished by Gene himself, but rather penned either at the time of the writing of the above named script, or sometime before.  It is believed to be a reference to the fighter or bomber plane he piloted during WWII (or Korea, perhaps?)  I realise that I can simply Google this information–either with Bing, or Google–however I can also leave that to the reader and rely, as I so often do, upon my rather ephemeral memory.

The fact remains that this snippet, although usually depicted in four lines, was in fact referred to as a sonnet, in the episode in question and careful examination will show that these lines could indeed be given as a couplet with a caesura in the first line. (two lines of ten syllables each, but with one syllable missing in the first line, for those who are new to these terms)

There is a remarkable amount of information available in these two lines if one looks closely.  For example, apart from the lovely caesura, there is an internal rhyme in the first line, and an alliteration in the second.  Also, one might perceive an airy feel, both metaphorically, and that of rather free and skipped clauses–much as our dear Mr. Rudberg so often employs to quite lovely effect.

All of this to me suggests structure.  I felt this sonnet couplet–which was given, also in the above named episode, to be Canopian, in origin, and having been penned by one Phineas Tarbolde in 1996 (and this I DID Google, for, though I had it in my memory upon writing the first post on this subject, it had, subsequently slipped away in the days that followed)–to be suggestive of  its own structure by the information one might glean therein.  The result, that such explicit and implicit information suggested to me, you will find here.

So inferred by me, was that the internal rhyme–the line with the caesura–might not need or want more rhyme than that, while the following line might suggest a Shakespearean type of rhyme.  This would suggest to me independent quatrains, after the manner of Shakespeare, but with the first and third lines containing their own unique rhymescheme, and with the second and fourth lines rhyming in such a way as to tie the quatrain together.

As, according to my sweetheart, I am a musician first, and a writer in the English language second, it seemed musical to keep the structure fairly similar throughout, but not exactly.  I therefore chose to vary the alliterative pattern (I dearly hope) to good effect.  Likewise, I felt the subject matter moving from whimsy to the more concrete, and chose to reflect that as well, in the degree of ‘skippage’ used.

Then there is the issue of the subject matter itself.  This I have noticed has been dealt with in a variety of ways in the fanfic offerings I have seen.  None of authors of the former appeared to perceive–although I found only three of these–that the topic of “My Love” could be applied in a number of different ways:

  1. In the first case, a love for a ship or aircraft, or vessel; and this, akin to a swan perhaps, as suggests Bjorn Rudberg;
  2. Second, a description of one’s love–the overarching emotion or feeling of love–being personified as having wings as so described;
  3. And of course third, a description of a living person–a woman, as would have been the case with Mr. Roddenberry–as ones love being so described.

I chose to suggest all three.  This was because I could see a way in which all of these might be tied together, as consummating a love by marriage, and the reverse, not necessarily in the physical sense, but that such might be implied by or inferred, felt or in some way perceived from such imagery as might be present–both in the original and in the extrapolated lines.

Neither did any of these fanfic poets seem to sense the sonnet form inherent in the lines; most choosing to copy, more or less, the four line form.  There is nothing at all wrong with this, and all three were worthy attempts, the authors of which having chosen very differing directions to take the lines, even to the point of embedding them within a finished work rather than giving them as first lines–which to me it seemed they most definitely are.  Perhaps my perception, after having written and read so many sonnets, makes me more apt to see past the line breaks and simply hear the sound involved; I will admit, in this experience, I am rather unique amongst amateur writers or poets.

In any case, we have the script, of course, which suggests the lines as opening lines; but also, do the lines, to my musical sense, as well as any poetic or literary sense I may have, suggest something introductory rather than expository–although, once again, our Mr. Rudberg has suggested that they might be terminating lines, which to me, as well, seems much more likely then for them to have been expository.  Still, owing to my own gut feeling, if you will, and aided by my impression upon first hearing the lines, sometime in the late 1960ies, as well as their presence in the script itself, brought me to firmly along to see them as introductory.

This, not withstanding my sweet wife’s equally sweet insistence to the contrary, was more metaphoric work than I have generally done, or in any case, usually do–at least independently–although it is fair to say that, in this instance as well as in some previous offerings, of which I have, from time to time, made mention, my metaphoric sense was assisted at and by the prompting of others.  In this case the first two lines provided the guide and direction.

I have of late been writing quite a lot, however imperfectly, in ‘King James’ era English; and I couldn’t resist the urge to change the first “has” to “hath” and continue the pattern throughout;  however,  I think the offering might read very much the same–possibly preferred–with Mr. Roddenberry’s original line left completely intact.  If memory serves, I used mostly infinitives, participles, and past tenses, avoiding any verb conjugation whatever except for in one instance, which does not change the number of syllables to make modern.  Still there are some rhyme issues as ‘thee’ and ‘you’ are not congruent in that way.  Also a few things must change, I believe, for more modern English because certain phrases were not in use in the 20th century in 1996–whether in the actual sense, or in the fictitious sense, as being some thirty years in the future from the 1960ies when the script was written.  And, of course, when one changes the sound of one thing, sometimes another must be adjusted as well in the interest of recitative or rhythmic or balance.  Both sound and rhythm–sound and fury, if you will–must, to my ears, be considered in such a case.

Since I believe I have done with any further lucasing, I shall offer that version here; although perhaps, I’ll offer it up as another sonnet.  It feels a bit like cheating; however, it also feels a bit like Gene Roddenberry–great man that he was, even given all his faults which, alas, we all have–deserves more than one entry.  In which case, I shall offer a link below .

In fact, I have now done as described; therefore, find the modernised results here:


Also included in this link are any and all Canopian Sonnets I have added since then.

There was in fact, more to the task than I had originally thought, and I feel, quite definitively, not a cheat for claiming another day.  In fact, I might make a few modifications before, and afterwards I might just let Lucas have a go.  There is, of course, also the matter of this quite exhaustive post which, at this point, is verging on thesis length.

I will say that, at least as of this writing, (subject to change without notice, of course) I still prefer the Elizabethan/King James styled version to the modernised one.


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