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.
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.