Three Songs


The term "song" in poetry can describe a poem that is implicitly musical in some way, though it is not set to any actual music. I didn't find a good article online about this, but the standard reference work, with a detailed article on the term, is this:

  • Alex Preminger, Terry V.F. Brogan and Frank J. Warnke (Eds). The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics (3rd Ed.). Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, ISBN 0-691-02123-6.

It has been suggested that the three songs invoke Eve ("Southern Cross"), Mary Magdalene ("National Winter Garden"), and the Virgin Mary ("Virginia"), in that order.

Mariani also suggests (p. 232) that they are loosely based on the three songs from the third section of T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land.

epigraph: The one Sestos, the other Abydos hight : by Christopher Marlowe (d. 1593). It is one of the first lines of his unfinished poem Hero and Leander, which retells the Greek myth of the beautiful Hero, who lives in the city of Sestos, and of Leander, who lives across the Hellespont (a long narrow body of water in Northwestern Turkey) in the city of Abydos, and who falls in love with Hero. "Hight" is an archaic English word meaning "named" or "called."




This page has been edited 3 times. The last modification was made by - MisterMartin MisterMartin on Mar 7, 2008 5:03 pm