Dandelions (Poetry Form 73: Paradelle)

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May 25, 2012 by Sez

A paradelle is an obscure and challenging medieval French fo…
Wait, no it isn’t. It’s a parody which a gentleman named Billy Collins created and passed off as a genuine classical form.
They are actually kind of fun to write, and invariably conjure up something pretentious.

The second part of this poem may or may not be an Ojibwa legend. It features in the poem Song Of Hiawatha, which Longfellow claimed was a faithful recording of the legends of the tribe. In fact, he made stuff up, edited stuff out, and stole stuff from other mythologies, in an imperialistic, cultural misappropriatey sort of way.

Wherever it came from, it’s a nice legend.

The dandelion heads: transmuted from gold into silver
The dandelion heads: transmuted from gold into silver
Ghostly globes, destroyed by a breath of wind
Ghostly globes, destroyed by a breath of wind
The heads of gold destroyed, by ghostly wind, transmuted,
Into silver globes: breath from a dandelion.

Prairie maiden, by the lazy south wind beloved
Prairie maiden, by the lazy south wind beloved
He watched in dismay as her golden hair turned white
He watched in dismay as her golden hair turned white
Wind in the south prairie turned her, golden-hair maiden,
-Lazy beloved – white as dismay. He watched.

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