As you know, I have always seen myself as something of an innovator in the field of poetry. Aided by the eminent Professor Zazzo Thiim, I have explored the heights and the depths not only of poetry but also spoken word. Interpretative methods and matters of composition have been prodded and poked, rattled and dissected until there’s nothing left but random punctuation and a hell of a mess all over the dining table.
But now this inquisitive mind of mine has dived deep into the past and ushered by Thiim and a few of my local poetry colleagues, I have not only discovered, but resurrected a form of poetry long lost.
In a farm in Sicily recently there were excavations linked to the famed missing pearl necklace seemingly the inspiration for that worn by Marge in The Simpsons. Two teams of competing bounty hunters dug day and night around the barn and next to the cattle shed but no pearl necklace was found. However, one of them dug up some ancient manuscripts, and opining, quite rightly, that these weren’t nearly as exciting as the pearl necklace, flung them on the compost heap.
Yet these manuscripts contained the world’s first scribblings in the long forgotten poetic style, the decadocahedronic double quatrain.
By means of donkey and a backhander to their boss, these manuscripts were obtained by Thiim, who verified them as work of Ivan ‘Papa’ Capello, the eleventh century monk and scribe whose poetry also resulted in the invention of the sonnet, and also, in culinary circles, the egg whisk.
The decadocahedronic double quatrain is relatively simple in construction and the rules for their composition are easy to remember. The rhyme scheme is ABAB BABG. Where the G comes from is anyone’s guess, but Capello was known to be a maverick at a time when most mavericks were burned at the stake. The meter is iambic, of course, because anything other then iambic pentameter was thought to cause madness in goats. It is the syllable stipulations where the decadocahedronic quatrain comes into it’s own.
1st line 5 syllables
2nd line 6 syllables
3rd line 16 syllables
4th line 11 syllables
5th line 2 syllables
6th line 18 syllables
7th line 63 syllables ‘or as closeth as one might reasonably fathom’
8th line 3 syllables.
Capello is known only to have ever written one poem in this style, the famous ‘Ode to the Rear End of my Prize Cow’. But he added one other stipulation, and this is that the decadocahedronic quatrain must always mention someone called Mandy somewhere in it’s content.
The fact that he only ever wrote one decadocahedronic double quatrain provokes many in the poetic community to conjecture that he only came up with the syllable count once his own poem was finished so that it automatically conformed, and that then he just couldn’t be arsed to write any more. Alas, due to copyright reasons and a promise of a knuckle sandwich from the curator of the British Museum, I cannot publish here the ‘Ode to the Rear End of my Prize Cow’. But fret not, for I have had a bit of a bash at writing a decadocahedronic double quatrain myself.
So sit back, and let this remarkable verse take you once again to Sicily, and the genius of Ivan ‘Papa’ Capello.
I shall go to Kent.
It is a place I like.
It’s about time I pulled my finger out and packed my bags and went.
I shall then ask my really good friend Mike
If they would like to go to this magical place and ride a motorbike
Because I’ve often wished it would be beneficial to many in the wider artistic community to gather ones objects and belongings and make a pilgrimage to a place where small annoyances are, and stay in a two man tent.
Ok, so I’ve only just realized that I missed out the obligatory mention of Mandy. But it’s not bad for a first attempt and Thiim himself said that it brought a tear to his eye. He’s off for a lie down, now. I hope this becomes viral. I’ve got washing up to get on with.