H is For Halcyon…

(I’m playing catch-up. Three blog posts in semi-quick succession)

H is for Halcyon…

Halcyon Days. It’s an archaic use, but it means calm and tranquil, and since we’re sailors in our family, we appreciate the “Halcyon Days.” Traditionally, they are 10 days in winter when the wind does not howl and the seas calm. But … where in the world does that idea come from? Are there REALLY 10 consecutive days in winter that are calm? I mean … really?

It all comes from the myth of Alcyon and Ceyx. Ceyx was the son of the Morning Star and Alcyon was his wife. Face it, these two made Brad and Angelina look plain and rather homely. These. Two. Were. Gorgeous, and upon that, everyone in Ceyx’s kingdom agreed. They also radiated love for one another. If you know my writing, you can see where this is headed, right? Long story short, they call each other Zeus and Hera, and this ticks off Zeus. Ceyx heads off on a sea voyage, Zeus says, “That’s quite enough of that.” and whacks Ceyx’s ship with a lightning bolt. Ceyx, before he drowns, only asks one thing—that his body washes up on his home shore so Alcyon will know what happened to him. So, when his body does wash up on shore, Alcyon is so distraught that she throws herself into the sea. At this point, the gods are more than a little miffed at Zeus, so he relents and turns the two lovers into a species like a kingfisher. They live at sea and nest in the winter. What are the Halcyon Days? They are the supposed 10-day stretch of fair, calm weather in January during which the kingfishers build their nests and have their babies….

Poetry Form: Arabian Sonnet

I lifted this definition word for word from The Poet’s Garrett (http://www.thepoetsgarret.com )

The origin of this sonnet form, but having seen several examples of this sonnet using this form it is only fitting that it is included here. Basically it follows the Italian form, but because of the proximity of the two countries its not surprising there would be some influence. It has a rhyme scheme of;
a. a. a. a. . . b. b. b. b. . . c. c. c. . . d. d. d.

 

Halcyon Days….

Out of time and storied past

This song across the sea was cast

Two lovers bound, whose lives were dashed

While gods and mortals watched aghast.

Fair Alcyone and Ceyx brave

Two hearts most willingly enslaved

And of such beauty gods forgave

Oft boasted deity they raised.

All but Zeus, who took offense

And when brave Ceyx ventured hence

Did strike his ship, unto death dispense.

Such tumult on Olympus blazed

At wanton Death of Love misplayed

So sham’ed Zeus this penance gave, O lovers-lost, O, Halcyon Days