Janus: The Ballad of 1871 (Pride)
I was unaware of this interesting theory on the ‘coded’ meaning of Mr Lear’s charming poem “The Owl and the Pussycat”. A clever, surprising ballad, and a pleasant reminder of Mr Lear’s excellent work. I don’t know why this poem wasn’t split into four line stanzas, but no matter. Thank you, Janus, a delightful ballad.
John Mackie: Avarice a Sin? (Greed)
A fine and grand ballad in the Border Tradition, encompassing a broad sweep of history. There is little doubt in my mind, given Mr Mackie’s frank admission in the last stanza regarding the traits of his countrymen, that in said Mason’s view, placement of Avarice as Sin and Charity as Virtue was as wrong as a factory farmed haggis and required correction. Brilliant, Mr Mackie!
JW: The Ballad of reading in Gaol (Gluttony with a touch of Lust)
This outrageous piece explodes across the page in a (prison) riot of decadence and big words. JW has broken all the rules with exuberant abandon and it is certainly not poetry as we know it. JW is, no doubt, ahead of his time. I am left with a burning need to taste the succulent jabuticaba, and a question: Was Oscar Wilde really a Spaniard? I think we should be told. Hilarious poem, JW!
Araminta: The Battle of Thermopylae: A Ballad (Pride)
Battles make great material for ballads; this one fairly romps along and scans beautifully. In the tradition of the early ballad, it could (perhaps) be set to music. By the way, I knew the Spartans were proud and courageous in battle, but I didn’t realise they were seriously into hairdressing. A lovely poem, Ara, and thanks for your heroic efforts in penning a second entry.