The Mad Poet

[At around Christmas of '95, I had read Goethe's Faust and was trying to write a rather lengthy verse masque in the vein of one of the masques from that 18th century German epic. This mini-drama was going to be called Phantasmagoria and was set in the castle of a hypothetical wicked Scottish king. A great sorceress (actually a goddess in disguise) arrives to present a drama using spirits she has summoned from the dead at various ages of the Earth. The masque was to satirize a number of things about power and art, and as it progressed, it was to become more ominous, until finally, the sorceress would unleash the dead who were oppressed by the king on the castle and everyone would be killed save the sorceress and her (mortal) lover.

Some delicious lines were born, but unfortunately, I didn't get enough of the overall structure of the piece done to make it worth finishing. (Life just seems so full of delicious unfinished projects, doesn't it!) Three excerpts (The Mad Poet, The Weaving Spider, and Patrick Henry's Invective) seem to stand on their own well enough to extract. Below is the first.

G.C. April 2000]

O fire ferocious and phages flambastic!
Mete with the dog in the idol-gynmastic!
My cat and my cloak! Yea! My fat-briar yearnings
Sweat in the steel of Eternity's churnings!
Clad in the morning of bright, dewy towers,
Beckons the archer with hellvenly powers.
Forests in circles seducing their Mary,
Leap from the carriage to clutch the unwary.
Woe to you, princes and princenoritas!
Beware of the block by the rock of the cheetahs!

George Chadderdon © 1996