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Of Myths and Legends

The teller of the tale
speaks not in tenses:
Present, Past, or Future.
The reader, thus…
who dwells on these,
may comprehend
The Piper’s Song
and never grasp
the tune
in which the melody
is cast.

About this poem

Written as part of a collection of aphorisms in a tiny Italian cork journal given to me in 1981 as a parting gift by a dear Italian friend, a colleague, and a comrade poet, this parsimoniously written poem, entitled “Myths and Legends,” invites its readers, in their pursuit of being entertained by artists of all persuasions across all cultures and languages, to exercise their imagination to the fullest and recognize that what each artist desires most, consciously or unconsciously, is for each individual to see himself or herself as an integral part of the warp and woof of the human existential experience, masked, dramatized, and amplified in archetypal images, in universal myths and legends. A line of the poem makes mention of The Piper’s Song, which is referenced as an allusion to the poet Robert Browning’s “Pied Piper of Hamelin (“Raffenfanget von Hamelin”), the title character of a legend from the town of Hamelin in Lower Saxony, Germany, who, in the tale, appears dressed in “pied” (multicolored) clothing. The multicolored clothing is suggestive of the multifaceted dimensions of any serious artistic work that defies time and space, not allowing ready closure of interpretation, but enabling each reader or listener, in his or her own time and space, to obtain in the reading and in the listening, an interpretation that speaks to the heart of the individual ( to emotionally grasp the tune, so to speak, while intellectually comprehending the song. 

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Written on November 11, 1981

Submitted by karlcfolkes on November 02, 2021

10 sec read

Karl Constantine FOLKES

Retired educator of Jamaican ancestry with a lifelong interest in composing poetry dealing particularly with the metaphysics of self-reflection; completed a dissertation in Children’s Literature in 1995 at New York University entitled: An Analysis of Wilhelm Grimm’s “Dear Mili” Employing Von Franzian Methodological Processes. The subject of the dissertation concerned the process of Individuation. more…

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