Romance Poetry posted August 20, 2010

This work has reached the exceptional level
a blank verse poem

A Street of Ancient Mexico

by AlvinTEthington

see author's notes for form's description & pronunciations
I see your visage on the whitewashed wall,
Concealing prints of hand and head in blood.
I tumbled from drink when you closed the door
On our relationship and hope and time.

Dark bruises are discovered on my soul;
My body has fresh ones to correspond.
Desire to live and to enjoy retreats
When one impairs one's body and one's mind.

I feel void of erotic thoughts and lust;
Clandestine demons midst noon naps display
Emotions and corpse I show crowds who knock--
My psyche bears concerns in heart and soul.

Yet I discovered God that afternoon
Whilst the whole village slept, oblivious
To the diverse and sundry ways our Lord
Performs great deeds and miracles and signs.

So during the siesta that fine day
I walked a street of ancient Mexico
And viewed one maiden's liquid soft brown eyes;
I met the woman whom I now adore.

Alone and unescorted, she portrayed
An Aztec princess of quite haughty stock.
Yet one insomniac saw through veneers;
Romance was born that day in Mexico.

Blank Verse III contest entry


The following notes are intended for those unfamiliar with blank verse. They may be ignored, if so desired:

Blank verse is verse written in iambic pentameter (da DUM da DUM da DUM da DUM da DUM) without rhyme. Shakespeare often used it. No end rhymes, either true or proximate, are allowed. No proximate or true rhymes are allowed in the same line (they may be in consecutive lines.)

True rhymes--ones in which the ending vowel and consonantal sounds are the same. (e.g. fate/late)

Proximate rhymes--ones in which the ending vowel sound is the same, but the ending consonantal sounds differ (e.g. time/nine.)

End rhymes--rhyming words at the end of a line.

In my understanding, blank verse does allow for repetition of a word in the same line, even if it is changed from nominative case to genitive (possessive) case.

The following notes on scansion are in response to some reviews. This is a very Latin-inspired poem and takes its inspiration from Spanish-speaking cultures, although it is written in English. In Spanish, the tone is more important than self-concern, unlike contemporary poetry in English, in which self-concern is a primary factor. Therefore I try not to stress the pronoun "I" at the beginning of lines in my Latin-influenced work.

I am scanning the third line as follows:

I TUMbled FROM drink WHEN you CLOSED the DOOR

I am scanning the ninth line as follows, with emphasis on the verb:


I am scanning the eleventh line as follows:

eMOTions AND corpse I show CROWDS who KNOCK

Occasionally the stress falls somewhat oddly on prepositions and articles, but that often is necessary in a work with consistent iambic pentameter.

The following notes are intended for those unfamiliar with International Standard English Pronunciation. They may be ignored, if so desired:

The vowel sound in roof is a "u" sound and the vowel sound in door is an "o" sound, so those two words do not rhyme.

I am using the pronunciation of clandestine as klan-'des-"tIn, so it rhymes with no other word in that line.

Aztec (pronounced 'az-"tek) and princess (pronounced 'prin(t)-s&s) do not rhyme.

Romance (pronounced rO-'man(t)s) and that (pronounced th&t) do not rhyme.

Please feel free to ask questions about any other pronunciations. Every word has been carefully researched for pronunciation.

Thank you for reading this work.

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