“Well, it’s spring, when a young man’s fancy turns lightly to thoughts of love and where there’s love, there’s marriage. Indeed, April marks the beginning of “wedding season,” and so I challenge you today to write an epithalamium (somethimes also called an epithalamion). This is nothing more or less than a poem celebrating a wedding. The first such poems were popular in the classical world, and were typically addressed to brides. The modern versions are a bit more expansive, and needn’t address just the bride, but can address the whole idea of the wedding, both partners, weddings in general, etc. Your epithalamium could be about an upcoming wedding, about the wedding of an already-married couple, or some sort of imaginary ur-wedding, if you like. No particular form, length, or rhyme scheme required!”
I’m not one much for weddings, nor am I one much for praise poems, so I unpacked the toolbox and found that I could get a little fuel for this out-of-range assignment by using a form I find VERY comfortable. So here’s my sonnet.
Everything but the… Girl?
Oh,I have driven off potential brides
In five and thirty years as without brakes,
Or I were Saint of Ireland, and besides
My taste for Guinness, they were lowly snakes
(I won’t discuss if they were qualified
To play that role). But now, the kind of stakes
That loneliness unto his grave provides,
S’enough to give a holy man the shakes.
So now to bridal chamber, I’ll retire
Along with the sweet body I shall wed,
And carry with me always on the road
To dusty death. Can you identify her?
(A pint of Ben and Jerry’s in my bed
Along with Dryden’s Marriage A la Mode.)
I’ve taken awhile to warm up to the idea of (writing about) marriage, so I’ll just write about my favorite marriage: Enrique Barbieri and Aymará Boggiano.
Una base de compasión
I shan’t know in a million years how it came to be
That a country boy from Bachaquero and a
Caraqueña discovered unending devotion.
Modestly, gracefully, considerably attacked by
The quiet glances, gestures, words & romance
Of the immutable, unflappable arrow of the heart.
Decades-old, young love ceremoniously and
Humorously humbled by triple-male-progeny:
Having kids together indubitably breaches hearts & minds.
They’ve come a long way from those big people
I met 27 years ago; exemplary sacrifice is my training,
Selflessness, not to a fault; simply to awe the masses.