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The Morphean Stanza that I Dreamed

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Screen Shot 2013-12-06 at 1.35.05 PM (wiktionary key)


While the lines I’m about to reveal may seem simple enough, they have provided me with much fodder for thought.  Here are the lines which were in my memory when I awoke:

Just above the salty sea,
in a castle made of sand,
lived the Queen of the Færies,
Sovereign of the mystic lands.

When I first “remembered” these lines, I was terribly excited to have the memory and delighted by the image and merriment of the lines.  I set about analyzing the lines and was sure, as I noted earlier, that there would be no rhyme or reason (pun intended, ha) to the lines of verse.  I was very wrong.

First, each line has seven syllables and the rhyme scheme ABAB.  Also, based on the sound of the line, I am inclined to believe that the third and seventh syllables of the third line should bear an assonance.  The fact that the seventh syllable of the third line gives the line a feminine ending and is assonant with the word “Queen” supports this inclination, as well.

The prosody and feet of the lines are thus:

Screen Shot 2013-12-06 at 1.30.00 PM






At first, I thought that this may be just a random arrangement of metric feet; however, there is actually a fairly interesting dynamic at play here.  The first two lines bear the same structure and are composed of rising feet.  The third line begins with two rising feet, then moves to the feminine syllable, which begins a fall continued through the end of the stanza, with the fourth line being composed of falling feet.  What’s even more fascinating is that the fourth line is an inverse of the first two lines.

Again, let me be clear on this: I awoke from a dream with this Morphean Stanza in my memory.  After analyzing it, I believe that it bears a prosodic truth like a mathematical property which exists absent of human invention; what happened here was discovery, not invention.

So, therefore: An Oneirostrophe (also called a Dream Stanza or a Morphean Stanza) is a quatrain with the rhyme scheme ABAB, is written according to the scansion noted above, and shows assonance between the third and seventh syllables of the third line.

BOOM.  Mind blown.

Written by Alex Kaulfuss

December 6th, 2013 at 6:12 pm

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