In the morning, a walking I go,
With my dog. We are takin’ it slow,
On the beach, in the sun.
As we stride here beside water’s flow,
He keeps pullin’ to go to and fro.
On the leash, he can’t run.
But he knows of the joy walks bestow.
When it’s done, our reactions will show
We are both havin’ fun.
We enjoy when the day has begun.
It’s a treat when we meet anyone
As we walk by the lake.
Here the path that we take is such fun.
While the view here is second to none,
And no matter what we take
Is a way that is not overrun.
There are people out there, but few come
To this spot we partake.
This man is walking his dog along the shoreline at Lake Pepin, near Lake City Minnesota. Lake Pepin is large widening of the Mississippi River. The city of Lake City is located 65 miles (105 km) southeast of the Twin Cities. Lac de Pleurs (Lake of Tears) was the name given to Lake Pepin by Father Louis Hennepin, who camped on the shore of the lake in 1680. He christened the large body of water Lac de Pleurs after observing his Sioux captors weeping near the lake over the death of a chief’s son. It is widely known for its attractive surroundings and bountiful fishing for every fresh water species. Lake City was the home of the inventor of waterskiing, Ralph Samuelson, and is thus known as “The Birthplace of Waterskiing.” The Sea Wing disaster occurred on July 13, 1890 when a strong squall line overturned the excursion vessel Sea Wing on Lake Pepin. Over 200 people were aboard the vessel when it was overturned, and as a result 98 people drowned. The area was plentiful with clam shells, and a button industry grew up around there.
This poem is a Virelai Ancien Poem.
In researching this poetic form, I didn’t find a great deal of detail. Here’s the information that I discovered recently.
A Virelai is a form of medieval French verse used often in poetry and music. By the mid-15th century, the form had become largely divorced from music. The 17th-century prosodist Pre Mourgues defined what he called the Virelai Ancien in a way that has little in common with the musical Virelais of the 14th and 15th centuries. His Virelai Ancien is a structure without a refrain and with an interlocking rhyme scheme between the stanzas: in the first stanza, the rhymes are aab-aab-aab, with the “b” lines shorter than the “a” lines. In the second stanza, the “b” rhymes are shifted to the longer verses, and a new “c” rhyme is introduced for the shorter ones (bbc-bbc-bbc), and so on.
There were no examples provided, and no information about meter, other than two long and then one short. So I thought I’d try using an anapestic meter (da da Dum, da da Dum), with a 9-9-6 structure. So, here is my attempt at one. If anyone else has more information on it, let me know.
This photograph was taken by the author himself on October 1, 2015.