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April 26, 2012 / Sez

Prophecy (Poetry Form 44: Trochaic Tetrameter)

This is Trochaic Tetrameter, made famous by Longfellow’s epic poem The Song Of Hiawatha. I’ve also seen this form called “Hiawathas” and “Kalevala meter”

Now I see into the future,
See the people I’m becoming
People whom I used to pity
– Some would even jeer and mock them –
But not me, I never mocked them.
Still I never thought about it
Not when I was younger, never
Saw my future in their faces
Heard my past within their voices
They were older, I was younger
What had they to do with my life?
I was fresh and energetic
They were weak and frail and withered.
How could one become the other?
Never would I be what they were.
But I now begin to feel it
Feel the aching joints they spoke of
See the silver hairs invading
Feel the wrinkles grooving deeper
Find I cannot find the word, I
Mime the phrase I can’t remember
Wish that folk would speak more clearly
And complain that their behavior
Lacks respect and proper manners.
It was never so in my day!
I am not an ancient lady,
But the path is clear before me
Though I am not old, I will be
And as I go down to meet it
Old age rushes up to meet me
Ever closer, ever closer.


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