‘Ballad’ by U. Carew Delibes The Society December 6, 2015 Culture, Poetry 2 Comments The rustic minuet’s small step has since been swept away by all the modern pop and pep and fizzle of the day. One of the first to introduce it into music’s lair was Frenchman Jean Baptiste Lully of Louis’ court and care. That king first danced it at one of his famous, fancy balls. Of it he could not get enough within his brilliant walls. He liked its bows, he liked its glide, he liked its many steps, to front, to side, to back, to slide in graceful, gentle sweeps. In suites it took its place between the sarabande and gigue, with countless variations seen so it would not fatigue. So as the 18th century proceeded on apace, though many dances left the scene, it found a humble place within sonatas and, in classic music keys of Haydn’s, Mozart’s, Schubert’s and Beethoven’s, symphonies. So, though it’s rarely danced anon, it managed thus to stay because of who it chanced upon as it went on its way. Featured Image: “The Minuet or Carnival Scene” by Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo Views expressed by individual poets and writers on this website and by commenters do not represent the views of the entire Society. The comments section on regular posts is meant to be a place for civil and fruitful discussion. Pseudonyms are discouraged. The individual poet or writer featured in a post has the ability to remove any or all comments by emailing submissions@ classicalpoets.org with the details and under the subject title “Remove Comment.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Related 2 Responses Ewald E. Eisbruc December 18, 2015 On Small Things I would like to comment a little on a poem I recently read—Ballad by U. Carew Delibes, first negatively, and then less so. First, I really didn’t like the title of the poem. Certainly the author could have come up with a better title. I think Le Menuet would be an improvement, indicating its subject and its French derivation. Another thing I found a bit disconcerting was the comma at the end of the first line of the second-to-the-last stanza. I suppose the poet wanted there to be a pause at that point, but could he not come up with a better way? But the thing I least liked was his use of anon at the end of the first line of the last stanza. Although the word is an old, small word, its meaning doesn’t really fit in its context. I wonder that Delibes’ inspiration was flagging on the dismount. On the other hand, I did not dislike his use of the third adjective small in the first line of his poem for several reasons. As to its being the third adjective in such a short line hardly matters to me at all. First off, it is particularly dangerous in writing to make a hard and fast rule about writing. Rules, after all, are meant to be followed and broken, as Shakespeare and Milton so convincingly demonstrated in their poetry; and this particular rule I ‘ve never seen advocated in the ballad form. With only eight parts of speech, however, it is interesting for me to note why an author emphasizes one part of speech. Why does he do this right at the beginning? I notice that Delibes also uses three adjectives in the third line of his penultimate stanza. Perhaps of more interest is his use of various nouns: mono-and-poly-syllabic, proper, etc. Note his use of four infinitives in line three in the fourth stanza. But the main reason I do not object to his use of small in the first line is that I suspect he is subtly pointing out that the wotd menuet, from Old French, actually means small. What I liked most about this flawed, albeit exquisite, work were its knowledge, the alliterative link between Lully and Louis, the simple diction intertwined with a rich musical vocabulary, and its surprising central theme. All in all, for a ballad of eight stanzas, it delivers, if not a brilliant masterpiece, at least competent punch, sadly absent from most New Millennial poetry. Reply http://maple4x4.com/ March 29, 2016 That’s a genuinely impressive answer. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.