sovay: (Lord Peter Wimsey: passion)
sovay ([personal profile] sovay) wrote2016-10-31 08:01 pm

And maybe just, baby, you can help me sing this song

My poem "Vocatio" is now online in the premiere issue of Twisted Moon, an Australian-based magazine of speculative erotic poetry.

In the last hours of October in this time zone, it is appropriately a ghost poem, addressed to one of the first Latin poets I ever read in the original. The next-to-last two lines are riffing on Catullus 70 (sed mulier cupido quod dicit amanti / in vento et rapida scribere oportet aqua: but what a woman says to her passionate lover / one should write in wind and swift water) with a bonus hit of Horace Odes 3.30 (exegi monumentum aere perennius: I have raised a monument more lasting than bronze); the last two are an elegiac couplet. I am justifying the spondaic fifth foot in the hexameter as a popular trick of the Neoterics, as Cicero once snarked to Atticus:

Brundisium venimus vii Kalend. Decembr. usi tua felicitate navigandi; ita belle nobis
flavit ab Epiro lenissimus Onchesmites.
hunc σπονδειάζοντα si cui voles τῶν νεωτέρων pro tuo vendito.

—Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticum 7.2.1

I arrived in Brundisium on the seventh day from the Kalends of December, and I had your own luck sailing; so fairly for me
did blow from Epirus the gentlest Onchesmites.
That spondaizing you may pass off as your own to whichever of the newer poets you feel like.

The verb futuo is surprisingly difficult to fit into Latin lyric. It is the best-known Latin verb for sexual intercourse; its technical meaning is male-to-female penetration; I wanted to genderbend with it. The poet himself had better appreciate how long the scansion took me.

The market is a new one for me; I am delighted by the theme and the company. There are Norse and Greek myths in this table of contents, sea-sex and shifting tongues and science fiction and paranormal deconstruction. A good crop of masks and shivers. Happy Halloween!

[identity profile] 2016-11-01 01:20 am (UTC)(link)
Oooh, this one is out in the world now, where I can point people at it. I really like this one. Particularly the line about saving one hand to write.

Apropos of nothing, I saw a man walking down the street dressed as Groucho Marx, gesticulating and complaining loudly to his companion "I swear I thought this was still in the cultural consciousness!" I am apparently a throwback.

[identity profile] 2016-11-02 02:39 am (UTC)(link)
All three of my kids have been Charlie Chaplin, whom I think of as rather more obscure, and been widely recognized. (It was originally my older daughter's idea; she turned out to look quite remarkably like him. She did decide, with some regret, that Harold Lloyd was too obscure.)

[identity profile] 2016-11-01 12:44 pm (UTC)(link)
Congratulations on the poem, and thanks for spreading the word about the magazine - a new one to me. :)
gwynnega: (lordpeter mswyrr)

[personal profile] gwynnega 2016-11-01 06:42 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm so happy to see this poem out in the world.

[identity profile] 2016-11-02 12:09 pm (UTC)(link)
Yes, what an excellent lineup of poets!