Ballade With Sounds, or Why Indeed?

If you neglect the sounds it is no ballade; if you neglect the sense — why write it at all? No one is compelled to use these complex forms, but if chosen, their laws must be obeyed to the letter if success is to be attained.


— GLEESON WHITE: Ballades and Rondeaus

PERHAPS ballades are hard to write,
Perhaps I lack the lyric urge;
But when I’m reading Gleeson White
And hearing sounds within me surge
1 feel myself a thaumaturge,
And rhymed complexities are fun —
Ballade, rondeau, or even dirge —
No matter how the thing is done.
I’m no neglectful neophyte
Whose bungled rhyming is a scourge;
I link my sounds with sense, despite
An inclination to diverge,
By dredging deftly in the gurge
Of Loring’s Rhyming Lexicon,
Aware that something will emerge,
No matter how the thing is done.
Two stanzas with the end in sight,
And only one more rhyme to splurge,
May seem to put me in a plight,
But luckily, the rhyme is “purge.”
Neglect will leave me in the lurge;
I take it, since it’s that or none,
And make the sounds and sense conflurge,
No matter how the thing is done.
Accept, O Prince, my finished blurge —
The formal victory I’ve won.
Don’t ask me how I cleared the hurdge.
No matter how. The thing is done.