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The Diatonic Dittymunch -- Jack Prelutsky

Guest poem submitted by M. E. Lasseter:
(Poem #899) The Diatonic Dittymunch
 The Diatonic Dittymunch plucked music from the air,
 He swallowed scores of symphonies and still had space to spare.
 Sonatas and cantatas slithered sweetly down his throat;
 He made ballads into salads and consumed them note by note.

 He ate marches and mazurkas, he ate rhapsodies and reels,
 Minuets and tarantellas were the staples of his meals.
 But the Diatonic Dittymunch outdid himself one day:
 He ate a three-act opera --
        And LOUDLY passed away.
-- Jack Prelutsky
I rather like the "monsters" theme that has evolved over the past few days,
so I thought I'd contribute one of my favorite monster poems. While perhaps
not as terrifying as the Kraken or Grendel (or even the Jabberwock), to a
composer or a musician, the Diatonic Dittymunch would certainly be awful to
behold.

It's thought-inspiring to see Prelutsky's alliteration, and the way he
manipulates music-form titles into a comfortable rhythm is comparable to Tom
Lehrer's sorting the names of the chemical elements to the tune of the
"Modern Major-General" song from Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of
Penzance.

from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:

Diatonic
Function: adjective
Etymology: Late Latin diatonicus, from Greek diatonikos, from diatonos,
stretching, from diateinein to stretch out, from dia- + teinein to stretch
-- more at THIN
Date : 1694
: of or relating to a major or minor musical scale comprising intervals of
five whole steps and two half steps

from randomhouse.com:

Jack Prelutsky was born in Brooklyn, New York. He attended New York City
Public Schools and studied voice at the High School of Music and Art. He
enrolled in Hunter College in Manhattan but left soon after "to become a
beatnik."

Jack has been a cab driver, a busboy, a photographer, a furniture mover, a
potter, and a folk singer.

He enjoys bicycling, playing racquetball, woodworking and cooking. He lives
in Washington State with his wife Carolynn and a vast collection of poetry
books and frogs in every shape, size, and form -- except living!

There was a time when Jack couldn't stand poetry. In grade school he had a
teacher who left him with the impression that poetry was the literary
equivalent of liver. He rediscovered poetry in his twenties, and he decided
that he would write about things that kids really cared about, and that he
would strive to make poetry delightful.

Monsters theme:

Poem #895, W.H. Auden, "August 1968"
Poem #896, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, "The Kraken"
Poem #897, Anon., "Grendel"

Minstrels links:

Poem #490, Tom Lehrer, "The Elements"
Poem #52, Lewis Carroll, "Jabberwocky"

M. E. L.

25 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

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This poem sucks, do you have another one from this guy, I wonder if he can do a decent piece of art.

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