General Discussion
 Topics of or related to poetry. 

eMule -> The Poetry Archive -> Forums -> General Discussion


Goto Thread: PreviousNext
Goto: Forum ListMessage ListNew TopicSearchLog In
Browning's Galloping Galuppi
Posted by: Hugh Clary (192.168.128.---)
Date: September 28, 2006 01:40PM

The poem is rather lengthy, and some notes are required to follow the musical references, so see the poem for example at:

[www.victorianweb.org] />
Browning's A Toccata of Galuppi's reminds me of Newman Levy's opera guyed poems, at least in the rhythm employed. It doesn't have Levy's internal rhymes, but it skips along nicely in its own way:

Oh Galuppi, Baldassaro, this is very sad to find!
I can hardly misconceive you; it would prove me deaf and blind;
But although I take your meaning, 'tis with such a heavy mind!

Still, it would appear that it can be read in two different ways, either as eight beats of trochaic octameter lacking the final syllable (catalectic), or as four beats using the obscure third peaon foot:

OH gaLUPpi, BALDasSAHRo, THIS is VERy SAD to FIND!
I can HARDly MISconCIEVE you; IT would PROVE me DEAF and BLIND;
BUT alTHOUGH i TAKE your MEANing, 'TIS with SUCH a HEAVy MIND!

or

[Oh galUPpi], [BaldasSARo], [this is VERy] [sad to FIND]!
[I can HARDly] [misconCEIVE you]; [it would PROVE me] [deaf and BLIND];
[But alTHOUGH i] [take your MEANing], ['tis with SUCH a] [heavy MIND]!

Again the final foot is catalectic (truncated) in the second possibility. In both cases there is usually a caesura (pause, comma) indicated between the first set and last set of feet. Since music is usually played as a sequence of 8 beats, I suspect the trochaic rhythm was that intended by Browning, but he was likely fully aware of the feasibility of both readings.

One would be hard pressed to find many other examples of poems about toccatas, the famous limerick ending in "Toccata and fugue in D minor" notwithstanding. Since a toccata is an elaborate composition, RB's choice of a complicated rhythm mimics his theme, much the way his Ghent/Aix one imitates Roland's hoofbeats.

The speaker of the poem would seem to be a person of Browning's time, listening to a contemporary pianist playing the music of the 18th century Galuppi, whose first name was Baldassare, not Baldassaro, an odd error for Robert B. to make, since he spent a lot of time in Italy. Another dramatic monologue, you say? Sounds like it, but no murderers in this one.

And what about the quotations used? Do they come from people in Galuppi's original audiences in Venice? Things they may have said while listening to the work in their time?


Re: Browning's Galloping Galuppi
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (192.168.128.---)
Date: September 28, 2006 03:26PM

I immediately slipped into singing this to the tune of "Oh Susanna"
so now I'm stuck with that.


Re: Browning's Galloping Galuppi
Posted by: Hugh Clary (192.168.128.---)
Date: September 29, 2006 11:53AM

I just noticed that each line has 15 syllables, therefore each stanza has 45. There are also 45 lines (fifteen 3-line stanzas) in the total piece, for a grand total of 675 syllables. Eight feet per line means 24 per stanza and 360 in all. I am not sure what all that signifies musicwise, if anything, but the 360 could refer to the number of degrees in a circle. Why 675 syllables, except to match the 45/stanza with the 45 lines, dunno.


Re: Browning's Galloping Galuppi
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (192.168.128.---)
Date: September 29, 2006 12:17PM

They founded an abbey in Abingdon, England
They found that the year was Six Seventy Five
When Saxons invaded the year was Three Sixty
and most were deceased 'fore they turned Forty Five


Re: Browning's Galloping Galuppi
Posted by: JosephT (192.168.128.---)
Date: October 12, 2006 07:38AM

I thought the galloping galuppis was a childhood disease.

Joe


Re: Browning's Galloping Galuppi
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (192.168.128.---)
Date: October 12, 2006 07:46AM

It sounds more like the Aztec Two-Step


Re: Browning's Galloping Galuppi
Posted by: Elliot (192.168.128.---)
Date: October 24, 2006 02:26AM

Thank you Hugh; getting into it; it did not excape Haldorn Flamergushen's notice...

Haldorn Flamergushen (1818)

Giddy-yup Galuppi
Verbiage to savor
Victorian yuppy
Browning I favor

BBL
E.


Re: Browning's Galloping Galuppi
Posted by: Elliot (192.168.128.---)
Date: October 24, 2006 02:27AM

Thank you Hugh; getting into it; it did not excape Haldorn Flamergushen's notice...

Haldorn Flamergushen (1818)

Giddy-yup Galuppi
Verbiage to favor
Victorian yuppy
Browning I savor

BBL
E.




Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
This poetry forum at emule.com powered by Phorum.