Friday, September 22, 2006

Bossert's speech to the Throng

When I left the tale last, you will recall that my life was imperilled. Bossert bade me stand 'pon (upon) a lecturn beside him as he addressed the congregation of puzzlers. He spoke entirely in ryhme which, even although I feared greatly for my life, I thought sublime. I cannot remember exactly what was said and I would be doing you a grave disservice if I attempted to write it out from my meagre memories. To give you a clear picture of Bossert's skill as an oratory poet, I will note that he was able to make his points beautifully, calling upon a vast reserve of verse forms completely appropriate to his content.

Amongst many other skillful uses of poetic technique, he flicked deftly between deibhidhe and Sapphic ode, did something a little cheeky with the Habbie stanza using sprung rhythm, then employed threnody and the ubi sunt motif to inject a melancholy tone reminiscent of certain eligiac distiches. He shifted to an Onegin stanza model for several minutes, and slyly snuck in a bit of mosaic verse, doubtless lost on the bulk of the assembled crowd, then admitted that one line was indeed a ligne donnée, but in his subsequent use of a katauta schema combined with a liberal splash of soriasmus, he more than lived up to expectations. Finishing on a stunning envoi, which made use of syneciosis and duple meter, he left the congregation extremely eager to see the unveiling of his puzzle design.

Hopefully my summary has made it clear exactly what Bossert's poem was like - I went to some trouble to find the correct poetic terms to better enlighten you. If it remains unclear despite my use of helpful terminology that exactly describes the techniques he employed, then you may as well say that the whole practise of critically examining poetry to an almost scientific level of categorisation and taxonomy is bunk. And no one would say that.

I will now give you the gist of the content of Bossert's speech as far as I can remember it. I will write it in prose so this will not be exactly as it was originally said, but I have done my best. He said,

"Ladies and gentlemen, I have designed the ultimate puzzle. I will now demonstrate it."

I will tell you about the demonstration in tomorrow's diary entry.

No comments: