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Çaço, Man of the Morning Star, protasis, p.1 Harsh, b.1, canto 5

Canto Five ~ The evil boy is neither.
He is quite mad and unknown to all who interact with him, thousands of years old. Covered always in filth, his nature is tolerated by the soldiers of Garland Legion as simply another of the witch’s strange and wretched beasts. Though hardly pure in his feelings, his loneliness and something else perhaps, manifests itself in a sincere affection for the injured man. He has brought him to an abandoned brothel beneath the City of Laura where he has of late sequestered himself as he serves Gundhag.

Canto Five

...and steeped in it he will remain.
Long centuries he’s been insane.
‘Tis all left him with which to fend
delusions lapsed and thence suspend
the truth past reach in memory 5
of nightmare vision else he see.

Denial’s held him safely long~
he no more doubts he saw naught wrong.

No sense there is how long he’ll live.
Of past long past inquisitive. 10

The hauntings long ago are lies
and ultimately broken ties.
A face, its voice, the song he hears
are meaningless and warrant tears
no longer if they ever did. 15
His twisted mind screws tight that lid.

Cruel spins in whirlpools weighted down
as aid his liberties may drown.

Yet snared by youth, he is antique~
an aged homicidal freak. 20

So terrified that life won’t end
but O, the fear that Death will send
his orphaned soul to those he fled~
the guardians of half the dead.

He clings to life held overlong 25
and dwells on hurt to keep him strong.

The place returned to has been here
but short time after all though dear
and fresh in mind when all was new.
Ah hell, but he was mad then too. 30

The Lords and Ladies christening,
the food and drink, a dancing fling,
the clothes he wore… ah, did he now?
Extravagant was flourished bow.

No one in recent memory 35
danced near as well in clothes as he.
No one could sing as well… as well.
So jealous of him, he could tell.
They longed for him. He loved the green
of night time trees, of being seen. 40

These very steps he’d taken then
with mortal ladies he would win.
The stairs were long and graceful once.
Now only long. The hanging sconce
each thirty steps now merely hang, 45
if they are there at all. He sang.

Sweet songs of love for loves that died,
enraptured in his arms they lied.
Their time moved swiftly~ his does not.
Ah, still he loved them though they rot. 50

The time together it would add
beyond their end but made him sad.
A tiny drop past trickle poured.
Behavior others all abhorred.

What cared he though? They died as quick. 55
A moment’s converse, they took sick.
Their flesh drawn tight about the bone
while his retained a youthful tone.

Once, long ago, was reason why
he waited for his chance to die. 60

But never more. It seems he’ll not.
The why of it has been forgot.

The boy as always carries weight
with burden lacking. Not yet sate
he hurries some, but not so swift 65
to tarry not o’er steps that lift
his spirits some remembering.

To some falsehoods he’ll fiercely cling.

The doors to Lord’s and Lady’s rooms
were held by hinges once. The booms 70
resounding when he leaned them back
he’d giggle at. He’d both them stack
against the jam to seal this place
as prison hold and never trace
be found between the doors and walls. 75
Naught strayed, not even mournful bawls.

In here he laid his lover down
and gently kissed his dreaming frown.

Then near he stretched himself to hold
his precious captive in the cold. 80

A lover’s touch alive or dead.
The man he holds should know such dread.
Perhaps he shall. There’s always hope...
or time... or time... time’s dreary grope... 85

Style / type: 
Structured: Western
Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Review Request (Direction): 
What did you think of my title?
How was my language use?
How does this theme appeal to you?
How was the beginning/ending of the poem?
Is the internal logic consistent?
Last few words: 
Updated as part of my Big Edit. Good luck to Rula, William and Scott... and anyone else with an abundance of courage.
Editing stage: 


Started to read it and it is late. Will visit it tomorrow on my time back to computer. Have you written a canto before this one. I just asked for I am unsure of the Canto Five I assumed it was the fifth one. Let me know and a canto I do not know so I am happy to research it upon my return tomorrow. Sounds interesting.


I have written four before this and fifty seven after. I posted the first four here some time ago and got a lot of complaints about WHY I would write something like this and not much conversation on HOW I wrote it. The epic is a romantic fantasy adventure written in a pseudo medieval style. I jokingly call it my Penny Dreadful Fantasy as it is full of violence, monsters, witches, mad kings and evil gods and a host of other "pulp fiction" stuff. It's to be read quickly with little or no consideration for the poetry (the poesy takes care of itself) and not taken too seriously.
Thanks for biting. You'll find cantos one through four on my list as well as The Sonnet on The Man that precedes the whole work. Hope to see you back. You are obviously a very daring individual. wesley

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
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author comment

Now I am going to give it a honest take, okay? I have to read this again though, when the ball game is not on. And now the Bucs are on.. First I am going to say I read it quick, stumbled here and there but caught the story line or poem line. . Kind of made me think I was reading from an old english book perhaps. I could not understand the 5 10 15 etc at the end of lines. Distracting me a wee bit. Is that meaning the number of lines and why does it go into the poem directly? Just curious.

This line

No sense there is how long he’ll live.

seems to say

No sense that is how long he'll live or no sense is there how long he'll live. (??)

You really have to read this in total silence and then some of your breaks are mid sentence. (??)I will print this out, take it to my porch tomorrow after I get back from taking my father to the VA. y I already put it down on my hurry due list:)

One last thought

This reminds me of an old english tale somehow. Kind of starts out as a Harry Potter kind of thing with the witches etc but then it went off into another Alfred Hitchcock kind of story. that is my take at least. Bewitching or bewilderment you have an active imagination (great for fiction writers)

Let me know Wes as I can be totally off kilter here upon my first read. I will return and see again how it reads to me. Those sentence breaks in the middle were throwing me off as I am sure there is a reason for them being there. Now I again


First, the line numbers are there for reference. In the printed versions they are comfortably at the edge of the page in good poetic tradition. The format here won't let me move them far enough away. However, since I desire comment, I leave them to make it easy to pick on particular lines.
Please! If you're going to attempt this, look at Canto One first.
It is indeed an attempt to produce a very modern take on a very old style.
As it is epopee (epic poetry), I use the traditions employed by Spencer, Byron, Ovid, Virgil, Milton... and so the piece is full of enjambment and mid line breaks. When one reads any of these old gents, one should read quickly as reading prose. DO NOT read it as poetry. If one reads Milton as poetry, the story is lost and the poetry becomes a jumble. If one reads Milton as prose, the damn thing rocks at a speed unparalleled in any action/adventure flick.
I implore you- if you would do this- read The Sonnet on The Man and Canto One first, then go where you will. The story at this point is (you should be sitting down when I say these things) Sixty Seven canto long and it is all one story.
The piece has been posted elsewhere through about half and I have received incredible assistance from some awesome poets, so I don't expect or require help/comment/suggestions here. However, I NEVER want to shy from the possibility. The smallest thought can have profound effect on the poem. I would love to have you look at it and offer ANYTHING you can.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program

author comment


Only got one minute here but one thing if this is what you love to write and it is your niche I am proud of you. Now saying that yes I will and I say that honestly for I am interested in others poetic or eopoee's . I love that. yes I did read some of the first one. What I would also like to ask is this. Have you ever did this as spoken word. You know why I ask is because then you can stress the lines in sound and I would love to hear you do this or hear your voice recite one of these.

It is like a story poem yes indeed. I lost track but then I went back and said this writer is on to something and though it might not be your regular poem here it is just as important because it is your style and your story.

For this I am eager to read it more enlightened to learn this and amazing way you have this great imagination to place these words into a story poem as you have done.

Okay send me or US HERE At NEOPOET the sound bite to one of your canto or sonnets. I would love to hear you do this. Think about that tonite. I know you can do it.

Got to go
Dancing with the Stars is on

OH I forgot I used to dance and look them girls
laughing out loud smile
you are a good writer Wes!

Love to youg uy

Which one you want me to look at the 67 one? I will practice and read and offer only when I concentrate in silence so tell me the one exactly as I will do that for you and undivided attention to it. BBL

"The Sonnet on The Man", then Canto One. Then Canto Two...then take a deep breath and go on. I have posted only the first five so far. If you make it through them then I am of course thrilled to keep posting more. They vary in length between the shortest (canto thirty- 79 lines) and the longest (canto thirteen- 1005 lines). Most are between 200 and 400 lines. The first Part is entitled "Harsh" and it is separated into four Books. Book One is complete at 62 canto. I am presently working on canto six in Book Two. Frightened yet? wesley

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program

author comment

My request if you will here

Can you and will you write a brief description of a canto for us Neo Poets here. This way I can get the concept before I indulge my mind again:) Smile at you. I would love also to know the inspiration behind it and hear it from you instead of reading all about it on the Wikipedia:) I will be waiting.

Do a little blog on Canto's it might interest some others to try a go of it. You think?

Great mind you have Wesley Snow and may I continue to call you Wes for short?

Smiles from miles
Ms Mona

Do you mean a description of "canto" itself (it is Italian for chapter essentially)? Or an explanation of "my" canto. Each one has a summary before it. It was demanded of me by my friends. wesley

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program

author comment

like a brief synopsis on Canto's. It's structure, requirements and so on. I would love to see and read your interpretation to learn this myself. Whether I attempt one or not remains to be seen:) Thanks and comment on the Man sonnet soon. Got to answer phone messages now.

Smiles for Miles

I want to print out the WHOLE thing and read it all in one go, so that's what I shall do, I can then get lost in the jungle of it and enjoy all the details, like walking in the forests here in Norway where the twisted roots of trees and gnarled trunks can become presences, the mist becomes ghosts and the lily pads are the stepping stones to the watery magic of reflections.
Love as aye from Ann of the woods.

"The image of yourself which you see in a mirror Is dead,
but the reflection of the moon on water, lives." Kenzan.

And I too agree with Ms Snow Ann I want to read it as all so I do not have to go back and forth between pages and comments so Wes you can post it all in one shot in a blog eh? Or Canto Poetic write from Wesley:) I love how Ann describes her walks and I agree also. Be back Wes. Not doing well but will be back asa I can... Mona

...but dear, to print it out, I would have to post it all. Sixty seven canto and counting. I don't know if Neo is ready for something like that. But maybe I'll throw canto six out. It's my first magical battle scene and a lot of fun. wesley

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program

author comment

Do it

It is your story put it out there for all to read...


I have been working on this for about seven years now. However, with my health problems I haven't produced squat in over nine months. I hope that changes.
Book One (sixty two canto) is finished (more or less... I NEVER stop editing). Book Two is currently in the middle of canto eight with story line plotted through to the end. I hope it won't be quite as long as the first, but I'm kinda long winded. Although, if ever I break down and do what I call THE BIG EDIT, in other words an editing that truly cuts through the stuff I include because I like it and leaves only what I feel is necessary (and appropriate) for publication I believe the whole would be about twenty percent smaller.
It always thrills me to see you here.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program

author comment
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