After being made aware that most of my poems were written in anapaestic tetrameter I made deliberate attempt to write something in a non-triplet meter.
Thinking musically, I wanted 4 bars of 4 beats for each line, with an accent on the first beat of each bar. As is typical for me, I often have one or two syllables before the start of the line, but this does not affect the rhythm as the final syllable of each line is always the first beat of the 4th bar, leaving room for these lead-ins. I also wanted 4 lines to the verse, with the fourth line a bar short, to allow for an inter-stanza pause. Such a rhythmic structure is very common in western music although in poetry it is about twice the speed it would be in music. Classically, this is called paeonic tetrameter.
The first line was the first thing that came into my head when I asked myself: "what is a sentence that goes: 'Dah dee dee dee, dah dee dee dee, dah dee dee dee, dah'?". It sounded fine so I just followed that theme. It is my definitive statement of who I am.
I set this poem to music in 2013.
Ev'ryone can tell that I'm the famous Warren Mars:
I invented a religion and I've named the groups of stars,
I set Tolkien to music and I've sung and played guitars,
And a heap of stuff there isn't space to say.
I've been expelled from school and I've been tripping in the park,
I've had a ripcord fail and I've been riding in the dark,
I soloed hell Diablo and saw Longy make his mark,
And there's much that I've forgotten on the way.
My hair is long and groovy, like a rock star's ought to be,
A shirt of flannelette that's dyed in plaid is right for me,
I've always had a beard beyond the age of twenty three,
And I like it and that's how I want to stay!
I've had my share of run-ins with some arseholes in my time:
The ignorants and arrogants who think my life's a crime,
But I've wiped their grinning faces with my anger in its prime,
And I've walked out with my pride from the affray.
I believe in real science and objective proven fact,
There are things we do not know but still they have no great impact,
I think that all religious minded idiots are cracked,
And I'm sad that they have all been led astray.
I stand for human spirit at its noblest and best,
The generous, the thoughtful, the courageous and the blessed,
The humorous, creative and all those who live with zest,
And I would that stupid greed be kept at bay.
I've had my share of women and I've given love full rein,
I never had it last, yet never felt I loved in vain,
And I never played it weakly, though it drove me half insane,
But I lived it, as my love songs will display.
I should have had success but I've been left without a shred.
My fate insists I can't be recognised until I'm dead.
Yes, I've seen the mediocre be applauded in my stead,
But I cop this on the chin without dismay.
My fate has tried to break me, yet my spirit is unbowed,
I have a taste for bitter, but I still can laugh out loud,
It's not the life I dreamt of, but it's one of which I'm proud,
And I'm glad that it has all turned out ok.
Warren Mars - September - October 2009