July 26, 2003 by AK

Another amusing (no — more than amusing) post at Reflections in D minor. If you take a moment to visit Lynn, my comments might seem less cryptic.

Trapped inside an E-minor chord… I studied math for 5 years at college… oh, well, you liberal arts people don’t understand — 80%+ of my classes were math of some variety. The same for students of physics or chemistry; the course load got pretty heavy at times. And, as you all know, mathematicians (and programmers) are particularly prone to mental disorders, so from time to time someone would seriously imagine he (typically a he) has become a mathematical function or something in that style. In the worst case, he could get suicidal. The Moscow University’s main building is well suited for suicides.

The type of verse Emily Dickinson probably used the most was the English/Scottish ballad. Each strophe of a ballad consists of two four-foot and two three-foot iamb lines, more often with male endings.

There is no frigate like a book

To take us lands away,

Nor any coursers like a page

Of prancing poetry.

This type is as indispensable for English poetry as the four-foot iamb with alternating endings is to Russian versification. Turning Dickinson’s poems into art songs sounds terrible to me, so the music must be adequately weird.

Grieg, like Dvo?ak, was a family man and is portrayed to have had a regular happy life. These are exceptions, of course.


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