-> "The Mayn’t Be Metrical Song"
Original Song Title:
"The Major General's Song"
Parody Song Title:
"The Mayn’t Be Metrical Song"
Iambs had been the model of my doggerel in general—
They’re a near curse in English verse; their use appears congenital.
Yes, they’re the thing in our lingo, de facto categorical
In writing that’s historical and that that’s allegorical.
Should I inflict a limerick that might depict a testicle,
I’d shy from iambs and I'd entreat meter anapestical.
“There was a man from Nantucket” is a first line that’s often used—
So often that today I couldn’t say that it is not abused.
But nonetheless these anapests arrest my glance, keep me amused.
OK: I have composed a play that’s all arranged in anapests;
Title’s “The Man from Nantucket.” I shan’t believe you can’t have guessed.
Unlike iambs, those anapests are not quite as symmetrical:
Short-long versus short-short-long seems to me a simpler metrical.
And should I ever stage the play, it will create a spectacle.
I’ll stray away now from the play and suggestions of paradox
And expand all I’ve planned and scanned; you’re damned to a grand share of shocks.
The meter beats don’t peter out at just two; they are tremendous;
But trying to corral them all* is appallingly horrendous.
For some effects, you might elect to go forward with the trochee,
But as for me, I only see it seemly in karaoke.
The choree is way beyond me as is the antibacchius.
There’s also the “pro” bacchius; can’t forget paeon secondus.
(Another name for the anapest is the antidactylus.
And while I’m fussing with this stuff, I just mustn’t shun the pyrrhus.)
You might think one would be enough when it comes to the epitrite,
But wait, there’s more; all told, there’s four. This is getting quite recondite.
There’s the spondee and dispondee; I’ll diss them both when I speak back.
The tribrach and the amphibrach are three and two—I can’t keep track.
It’s all so convoluted that it reminds me of a fractal….
Three beats of molossus collossus hang with triadic dactyl.
In this triadic bounty, you’ll encounter also the cretic.
I count five tetrasyllables; I’m bound to become splenetic.
To learn all this, you’d have to sniff much cocaine and get frenetic.
I find three names for one meter—it seems abiogenetic.
There is a Billy Wilder film called The Major and the Minor…
Major and minor iconics—could the point be any finer?!
Ditrochee, diamb, choriamb—that last sounds like a portmanteau
Composed of lamb and coriander; I like lamb, but pork—that’s no!
Last but not least in this beat feast, we finally meet the antispast.
I don’t think that I oppose spast, though its semantics by me’s passed.
I could go look it up in book of mine that’s called a lexicon.
I've mined this shit, my mind ain’t fit; you can define me “vexed and gone”!
And now I spy why I don’t try any serious stuff to spawn;
I’ll stick to jests with anapests, which I’ll express from dusk to dawn.
iamb (or iambus or jambus)
trochee, choree (or choreus)
major ionic, double trochee
minor ionic, double iamb
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