Thursday, September 4, 2008

Poetry Friday Crickets and Cicada

Cicada emerging from shell in our back yard.

As summer winds down, the sounds of crickets and cicada will soon be behind us. This week I offer two ancient poems.
They are credited to a Greek-speaking native of ancient Syria by the name of Meleager. More information can be found at the following site (where I found the poems):

The Cicada to the Cricket
O cricket, you who soothe my passion and provide the consolation of sleep;
O cricket, shrill-winged rustic Muse;
You natural imitator of the lyre, sing for me some poignant song
As you tap with your charming feet and strum your loquacious wings,
So as to relieve me from toilsome worry that completely deprives me of sleep
As, o cricket, you spin out a song that dispatches Eros.
Then I shall give you as gifts, first thing in the morning, an evergreen leek
Along with dewy droplets that I separate with my mouth.

The Cricket to the Cicada
O resonant cicada, drunk on dewy droplets.
You sing your rustic song that sounds in lonely places.
Perched with your saw-like limbs, high up among the leaves
You shrill forth the lyre's tune with your sun-darkened body.
But, dear friend, sound forth something new for the woodland nymphs,
A divertissement, chirping a tune for Pan as the song which you sing in your turn,
So that I, escaping from Eros, can catch some noon-time sleep
While reclining there under the shady plane tree.

Poetry Friday is being hosted at:

Thanks to Elaine Magliaro for hosting this week!


PJ Hoover said...

Nice, Jim!

Kelly Fineman said...

Excellent photo, and those poems rock. I like the "formula" in them.

First, the address, then a description of the song, then a bit of further explanation, and then a closing (that looks more to the speaker than to the one spoken to). Really cool. Thanks for sharing them!

Jim D said...

Thanks for stopping by Kelly and Tricia.

Jim D

Lisa Chellman said...

You're getting a lot of mileage out of insects, poem-wise, this summer. ;-) I wonder what the connection to Eros is supposed to mean?

Kelly said...

I love the poems and the picture, Jim. I so rarely see the cicadas, but I love them.

Jim D said...

Lisa: Maybe I need to get away from insect posts. I saw the inspiration for my next Friday post hovering outside my front window this morning -- no pic -- not quick enough. I wrote the poem a few years back and it's aimed at younger kids, but full story Friday.

Kelly: We have a few of the variety pictured in our yard each year. I think it was Mary Lee who had the other Cicada poem this time. The pic she had was the darker variety, which I think is the 17 year variety.

Jim D

Marinela said...

I love the poems and the picture!