Notes on Posted Notes: Solitude #2 and #3
Solitude # 2:
Here, the rhyme scheme is aaaa if one scans the assonance of vowel sounds of the end words of the four lines: cognition/contemplation/freedom/poison. The full end rhymes would be: cognition/contemplation (L1/L2), so that freedom/poison (L3/L4) are pararhymes. There is an internal rhyme matching the L1/L2 end rhymes: seclusion. The other internal rhyme is: animus/garrulous.
For consonance there are the ‘s’ sounds one’s/animus/one’s (L1) and the full line 4: ‘Garrulous cretins spouting poison, with variations of the phonetic z (one’s/cretins/poison) and s pronunciations (garrulous/spouting).
There is also repetition and consonance in the use of ‘for’, as in L1 ‘for one’s/for one’s, as well as internal rhyme consonance by beginning L 1,2 and 4 with a word commencing with ‘f’ as well as the last word in L3: for/for/freedom/from.
The imagery is that of a monastery, where the writer (though it doesn’t have to be), the philosopher or the person who prefers solitude rather than crowds can seclude oneself in a Trappist-like existence, without the need to speak or talk to anyone, or, to be spoken to (perhaps in a one-way flow or verbal diarrhoea), or at, incessantly. Spouting is the second image, of the interlocutor who will simply not shut up, talking like a tap that will not shut up, and in this verse, that person is also a vitriolic type, one, perhaps which exists in most shared households. The need for solitude, in monastic seclusion, is therefore paramount.
The syllable pattern is 10/10/10/10, but I did not deliberately set out to create an iambic or trochaic beat pattern, and stresses are where they naturally occur in British English. Once I created the first line, I found 10 syllables fitted naturally how I wanted to say the opening line. There is a caesura exactly halfway into L1 after syllable 5, by way of a comma, to separate the two half- phrases ‘for one’s animus/for one’s cognition, and other caesurae occur in L2, 3, and part of syllable 5 in L4 (see below) where there are elisions between syllables 5 and 6 when those elisions cause the mouth to change shape at that point; I would suggest that is a sort of caesura. That would be my own observation and perhaps those with Linguistics qualifications might concur. Ergo:
L2 philosophi calcontemplation (philosophical contemplation)
L3 seclu sionis (seclusion is)
L4 garrulou scretins (garrulous cretins– here, at the end of ‘garrulous’, when spoken naturally, the ‘s’ adheres to the cre– ; one doesn’t hold one’s breath between ‘garrulous and cretins)
The rhyme scheme here is aaaa, as in #2. Here, the end rhymes are: reflection/seclusion/alien/infotainment. The last rhyme is a pararhyme, and if one mentally or deliberately mutes the ‘t’ in infotainment, one can create the consonance with the other three. There is an internal rhyme of ‘separation’ which matches the end rhymes.
The syllable pattern is 9/9/10/10. I tried to create a pattern of matching syllabic words in each line.
L1: 2 x 3 syllables: universe/reflection
L2: 2 x 2 syllables : private/ temple
L3 : 2 x 3 syllables : separation/the alien
L4 : 2 x 3 syllables: universe/infotainment
As in #2 I wished to create the imagery a place of mental retreat if one could not physically retreat to a place in the mountains, this time a temple, and again explored the idea of trappism, by saying this place is silent. One is in one’s own universe, and like the cosmos we see at night, it is silent. In one’s universe, one is in one’s own world, one’s own dimension, above the world. Here, as the writer, as the thinker, as the philosopher, one can create one’s own universe in one’s imagination, with one’s pen.
The ‘alien universe’ is that invasion by the incessant noise of the TV, or tablets, of non-stop 24-hour news, of tacky talent shows, celeb chit-chat, and quiz shows beloved of the non-thinkers in one’s own household. If one hasn’t got a place in the hills, a den, an attic, a shed, outbuilding, or a gazebo, then one finds one’s own space, or room and closes the door. The sounds from the other dimension, alien to the writer, thinker, philosopher, is anathema. The world of ‘unthink’, of that blaring TV and what it broadcasts, is alien, invasive.
© RC Clermont 2016