Monday, January 25, 2010

A une Damoyselle Malade - by Clement Marot

From Douglas Hofstadter's incredible book:
'Le Ton beau de Marot
In Praise of the Music of Language
(1997 by Basic Books).

A few simple rules:

1. The poem is made up of twenty-eight lines.
2. Each line has three syllables.
3. The stress falls on the last of these syllables.
4. In a series of rhyming couplets (AABBCCDD…)
5. In the first fourteen lines, he addresses her using the formal 'vous' form, and then goes on to call her 'tu'- more friendly or colloquial.
6. The last line echoes the first.
7. The poet slips his own name into the poem.






A une Damoyselle
Malade

Clement Marot

Ma mignonne,
Je vous donne
Le bon jour ;
Le séjour
C'est prison.
Guérison
Recouvrez,
Puis ouvrez
Votre porte
Et qu 'on sorte
Vitement,
Car Clément
Le vous mande.
Va, friande
De ta bouche,
Qui se couche
En danger
Pour manger
Confitures ;
Si tu dures
Trop malade,
Couleur fade
Tu prendras,
Et perdras
L'embonpoint.
Dieu te doint
Santé bonne,
Ma mignonne.


Cutie pie

Douglas Hofstadter

Cutie pie,
Herewith I
Wish you well,
In you cell.
It's like jail
When you ail,
Hope you make
Jailbreak
Straightaway.
'Twill be gay,
Without doubt,
Once you're out.
"Quick!" says Clem,
"Flush your phlegm!"
Think of ham,
Eggs and jam --
Pretty posh
Stuff to nosh;
But no way,
If you stay
Stuck abed,
With those med-
ical folks
Making pokes.
"One needs sun-
light and fun!!"
So say I,
Cutie pie.


Fairest friend

Robert French

Fairest friend,
Let me send
My embrace.
Quit this place,
Its dark halls
And dank walls.
I soft stealth.
Regain health:
Dress and flee
Off with me,
Clement, who
Calls for you.
Fin gourmet,
Hid from day,
Danger's past,
So at last
Let's be gone,
To dine on
Honeyed ham
And sweet jam.
If you're still
Wan and ill,
You will cede
Pounds you need.
May God's wealth
Bless your health
Till the end,
Fairest friend.


Chickadee

Carol Hofstadter

Chickadee,
I decree
A fine day.
Dart away
From your cage
And engage
In brave flight,
So you might
Flee the coup.
Hope you swoop
Into ham,
Apple jam,
And French bread,
Or instead
You will lose
The bright hues
Of your plumes.
Flu consumes
Scrawny birds;
Heed my words
And take care.
Slip the snare
That does pinch
My wee finch.
Hopes abound
That aground
You won’t be,
Chickadee.


Love

Robert French

Love
dove,
still
ill?
"Fly
High!"
I
cry.
"Why
lie
so
low?"
For
your
sweet
treat,
eat
meat.
jam,
ham.
Pray
stay
in
thin,
slim
trim
love
dove.




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