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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Comments on Chatting with Cyanocitta Cristata


Chatting with Cyanocitta Cristata

Crested, blue chattering bird; yes you are,
Keeping my company all winter long;
My other feathered friends have gone afar,
From the snow and icy winds blowing strong;

Monogamously you mate ‘til you die
Right! If people would on this trait partake
Divorces I opine wouldn’t be high;
Marriage vows are sacred for goodness sake.

From my Ohio lodging saw you did perch
On the highest bough, there you take your place;
Cardinals and robins too, fear your birch
Bully tactics hidden on pretty face 

Fearless as love my jay-bird cocks its crest
On the gray limb of a snow-flecked maple;
Blue, white and black bedecked its fancy dress
What shenanigans will you once more pull?

Casey chased you from her backyard feeder;
She said you displayed a bad attitude;
And that you are a corvid pilferer;
Stealing and raiding with high latitude.

I do think Casey was harsh, mean and unfair;
You only wanted to eat and play
Musical notes, across the woodland air;
Such utter nonsense I do hear you say.

From dawn to dusk I did hear blue jay’s call;
High up in forest trees it seemed to me;
Throughout the winter, spring, summer and fall
Its musical wheedle and tooloolee. 

Cyanocitta Cristata my true love;
I shall miss your sweet notes your voice recalls,
And your gorgeous body floating above;
With peculiar quirks, ruffles and falls;

I’m leaving Buckeye for the surf and sand,
It’s for a while but I must go away;
To raise black-belly sheep on Maycock’s land;
Shall be back jay-jay on Thanks Giving Day.

(June 2007)

Genre      -               Nature Poetry
Form       -               Heroic Quatrain
Tags        -               Dramatic monologue, iambic pentameter, rhyme scheme

Comments on – Chatting with Cyanocitta Cristata

 “Chatting with Cynocitta Cristata” is in the catergory of nature poetry in the form of the heroic quatrain.  This poem reveals a one-way conversation by the persona to a second person. A poem of this nature is considered a dramatic monologue. A dramatic monologue consists of revealing a one way conversation by a character or persona, usually directed to a second person or an imaginary audience. It typically involves a critical moment of a specific situation.

The critical moment in this poem is about the avian drama that played out one early spring morning in April. The poem’s imagery is from observations in the back-garden of a Cleveland Heights homestead in Ohio, USA. The gorgeous evergreens, deciduous trees and pines provide a welcome habitat for all kinds of wildlife; nature at its best as prying eyes held in awe what flora and fauna do naturally throughout the four seasons of the year. They keep the environment beautiful as they provide a sumptuous banquet table laid out that activates all our senses. That is why environmental protection is the responsibility of world citizens. The behavior of the birds among the trees provided a natural theater for my discerning eyes amid the ever changing weather patterns. The window view from where I sat provided the proper undercover to see the behavior and shenanigans of squirrels, bees, butterflies and all sorts of birds which have made their homes in Ohio. This constant interaction of animals and birds in the wild is awesome.

It was from that vantage point that a bizarre scene played out between two birds, the robin and the blue jay (Cyanocitta Cristata). The sky wore one of the many shades of blue that usually comes in the spring time when the day-star cascades its light with luster. The drama unfolded when a robin was the first to take its position on a high bough of the tree garlanded with ivy vines. A moment later, half second or so, another bird, the blue jay landed on the tree garlanded with ivy vines. A territorial war had broken out because the blue jay would have no other bird perching on the uppermost bough of the tree; that much I figured out from the blue jay’s body language. How dare you sit on that high bough, you arrogant robin! They fought and they fought; beaks crashing left, right, back, and center. It was obvious that the blue jay would win the battle of the birds because with each blow of its beak the robin fell to a lower bough on the tree. The territorial bird-war ended with the defeated robin having to accept its place on the lowest bough and the blue jay sat triumphantly surveying the land from the highest bough on the tree.

The rhyming pattern of this poem is such that the first verse in each stanza  rhyming with the third verse in each stanza; the second verse in each stanza rhymes with fourth verse in each stanza  as in an abab arrangement; and all the verses are iambic pentameter verses. Hence each stanza is called a heroic stanza. The poem has nine stanzas with a rhyme scheme abab cdcd efef ghgh ijij klkl mnmn opop qrqr as indicated by symbol markings end-words shown on rhyme scheme analysis in 
Table 1a and Table 1b.

Table 1a

Chatting with Cyanocitta Cristata


Rhyme Scheme
1
Crested, blue chattering bird; yes you are,
Keeping my company all winter long;
My other feathered friends have gone afar,
From the snow and icy winds blowing strong;

2
Monogamously you mate ‘til you die
Right! If people would on this trait partake
Divorces I opine wouldn’t be high;
Marriage vows are sacred for goodness sake.

3
From my Ohio lodging saw you did perch
On the highest bough, there you take your place;
Cardinals and robins too, fear your birch
Bully tactics hidden on pretty face 

4
Fearless as love my jay-bird cocks its crest
On the gray limb of a snow-flecked maple;
Blue, white and black bedecked its fancy dress
What shenanigans will you once more pull?

5
Casey chased you from her backyard feeder;
She said you displayed a bad attitude;
And that you are a corvid pilferer;
Stealing and raiding with high latitude. 


a
b
a
b


c
d
c
d


e
f
e
f

g
h
g
h

i
j
i
j


Table1b

Chatting with Cyanocitta Cristata


Rhyme Scheme

6
I do think Casey was harsh, mean and unfair;
You only wanted to eat and play
Musical notes, across the woodland air;
Such utter nonsense I do hear you say.

7
From dawn to dusk I did hear blue jay’s call;
High up in forest trees it seemed to me;
Throughout the winter, spring, summer and fall
Its musical wheedle and tooloolee. 

8
Cyanocitta Cristata my true love;
I shall miss your sweet notes your voice recalls,
And your gorgeous body floating above;
With peculiar quirks, ruffles and falls;

9
I’m leaving Buckeye for the surf and sand,
It’s for a while but I must go away;
To raise black-belly sheep on Maycock’s land;
Shall be back jay-jay on Thanks Giving Day.



k
l
k
l


m
n
m
n


o
p
o
p


q
r
q
r

Rhyme Scheme abab cdcd efef ghgh ijij klkl mnmn opop qrqr




Now you wonder why is the rhyme scheme not simply abab as oppose to the lengthy rhyme scheme abab cdcd efef ghgh ijij klkl mnmn opop qrqr. The reason is this, the length of the rhyme scheme is not a problem because it adheres to the stipulation that the heroic quatrain must have the end-word of the first verse rhyming with the end-word in the third verse, and the second verse must rhyme with the end-word in the fourth verse. This is the formula on which the heroic quatrain is created. In “Chatting with Cynocitta Cristata” you would have noticed that the end-rhymes in the first and third verses in stanza 1 do not rhyme unilaterally with these verses in subsequent stanzas; neither do the end-rhymes in the second and fourth verses in stanza 1 rhyme unilaterally with these verses in subsequent stanzas as shown in Table 1a, Table1b. However, they do rhyme independently in each of the subsequent stanzas. That is why; the other letters of the alphabet are incorporated into the rhyme scheme to reflect this trend.


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