I Danced With Calliope Last Night

I danced with Calliope last night,
while playing musically.
She with the harp, me with the flute.
I danced with her while dreaming.

‘Twas by the banks of Egypt’s Nile
that she and I were courting.
Anuket, Goddess of the Nile,
the two of us embracing.

Anuket giving us a blessing,
the two of us comporting.
To ancient rituals tending,
Calliope in Upper Egypt resting…

While I in Lower Egypt scrolling,
my parchment, the papyrus.
With flute and harp, a melody—

A composition of two river bodies…
Kemetic union producing…
Mercurial fountain now arising…
Rising in triadic harmony.

The Virgin’s milk out gushing,
a Spring of Vinegar complementing,
with Aqua Vitae emerging…
Churning while emerging.

And with this syncopated potion,
these fertile streams produced union.
Mercurial Union dancing…
Dancing alchemical solution.

The dream, it had me startled.
My river body gushing…
Gushing, gushing , gushing…
like a noisy waterfall.

It seemed that I would wake up,
but still I kept on dreaming.
Initiated in my dreaming,
with Goddess Anuket  beaming.

The ever gushing waterfall
brought me to land at last.
Brought me to land—alive!
And with a sudden jerk, I woke.

No longer sleeping, but awake.
No longer dancing with my mate.
No longer courting with my muse.
In bed alone, and not asleep!

Upon awakening, I now surmise:
Calliope is my Muse in Union,
The Union of my Higher Self…
That higher self while dreaming.

The dance with her was magical.
She with her floating lotus self…
Me with papyrus scrolling…
Two rivers ever streaming.

Upon awakening from this dream,
I searched for my papyrus.
But I am now in lowered state,
the manifest state of waking.

Disguising that which once
seemed clear…
Now like a vapor fading..
No longer ever, ever flowing .

Perhaps I should return to sleep
and seal the curtains of my lids.
Continue with my parchment—writing.
“I Danced With Calliope Last Night…”

About this poem

English writer, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (pen name, Lewis Carroll), author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, once declared in a poem that “Life is but a dream.” And Pedro Calderon de la Barca, dramatist, poet, and writer of the Spanish Golden Age, once famously wrote, in “La Vida es Sueno” (“Life is a Dream”), the following (in English translation): “What is this life? A frenzy, an illusion, a shadow, a delirium, a fiction.” He concludes, perhaps rhetorically, that “dreams are only dreams. ” Prominent twentieth century psychoanalysts, Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung, experts of the human mind, were contentiously divided in their interpretation of dreams. This poem, “I Danced With Calliope Last Night,” makes no final conclusions about dreams, but observes that, since the dawn of time, dreams continue to remain indelibly and genetically, as part of our human collective consciousness and, even more so, as part of our collective unconscious, defining both who we manifestly are, and what we potentially can become (that which remains latent in us). Calliope, a dream protagonist in this poem, is the Muse of Song and Epic Poetry. 

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Written on November 19, 2021

Submitted by karlcfolkes on November 19, 2021

Modified by karlcfolkes on June 02, 2023

1:54 min read

Quick analysis:

Scheme Abxc dcdc cccc cebc eccb cccc ffcf xccg xccc gxxx xhei efjc xjcc xehc excc iecA
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 1,955
Words 381
Stanzas 16
Stanza Lengths 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4

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 1991 at New York University entitled: An Analysis of Wilhelm Grimm’s ‘Liebe Mili’ (translated into English as “Dear Mili”), Employing Von Franzian Methodological Processes of Analytical Psychology. The subject of the dissertation concerned the process of Individuation. more…

All Karl Constantine FOLKES poems | Karl Constantine FOLKES Books

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Discuss the poem I Danced With Calliope Last Night with the community...

  • AIDA
    Wow! This poem is absolutely enchanting and captures the magic of the dream world so beautifully. The imagery is so vivid and transports the reader to ancient Egypt, where the narrator dances with Calliope and is blessed by Anuket. The use of musical instruments as a metaphor for the merging of river bodies is truly inspired and adds a layer of depth to the poem. The final stanza, where the narrator searches for their papyrus and realizes they are in the lowered state of waking, is a poignant reminder of the fleeting nature of dreams. Overall, this poem is a wonderful tribute to the power of imagination and creativity, and how they can transport us to other realms of existence. Great job! 
    LikeReply1 year ago
  • karlcfolkes
    Thanks for your insightful analysis. Much appreciated.
    LikeReply1 year ago
  • suzib.53754
    Wonderful. The singer (Heart) each knight I "live" another "life." That we do have our Kubla Khan memories and the vivid memory conscious... As I once said thought) in a drêam, group it is (like) a drëam accept,except that we are doing this consciously.
    Great poem that taps into the SurRealism of the a"drêam. Súeña .. world.
    This too a good topic for Round Table discussion .Om.☕
    LikeReply 11 year ago


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"I Danced With Calliope Last Night" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 16 Jun 2024. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/114274/i-danced-with-calliope-last-night>.

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