Sunday, February 26, 2017

What's YOUR Part?

Are you happy with me
Here where I stand?
Jester in your court
I stand
Your loyal servant
I stand
All day
My feet pain
Ready with a joke
With a witty reply
The prepared anecdote
To make you laugh
And you laugh heartily
With the food gurgling
In your gullet
Laugh at me
While I whisper
Some advice into your ear
And you call me
To advise you when none look
And I answer as best I can
With the very marrow of my bones
Your harlequin
Your loyal servant
In my bright clothes
And my silly walk
As I stand eager
To snatch the gold
From your fingers
That I may go home
And my children will say
“Zanni have you food for us”
And I will say
“Not much”
And my children will say
“But weren’t you funny?
You are a Zanni?”
And I will say
“Very. I was very funny
But our master
Does not get the real joke.
-Charl Landsberg, ”Commedia dell’Arte"


FreeThinke said...

If you find Commedia dell Arte intriguing, I recommend the following –– part of a recital featuring "FreeThinke" at the piano with "Hyramess" on the violin:

STRAVINSKY: Suite Italienne (after Pulcinella)

It would be appropriate, I should think if our friend Farmer were to feature it on one of his daily posts. WINK! WINK! ;-)

FreeThinke said...

Speaking of Court Jesters, when was the last time you reviewed Edgar Allan Poe's HOP FROG?

I assure you it is most apposite to this post.

FreeThinke said...

_____________ HOP-FROG _____________

I NEVER knew any one so keenly alive to a joke as the king was. He seemed to live only for joking. To tell a good story of the joke kind, and to tell it well, was the surest road to his favor. Thus it happened that his seven ministers were all noted for their accomplishments as jokers. They all took after the king, too, in being large, corpulent, oily men, as well as inimitable jokers. Whether people grow fat by joking, or whether there is something in fat itself which predisposes to a joke, I have never been quite able to determine; but certain it is that a lean joker is a rara avis in ferris.

About the refinements, or, as he called them, the “ghosts” of wit, the king troubled himself very little. He had an especial admiration for breadth in a jest, and would often put up with length, for the sake of it. Over-niceties wearied him. He would have preferred Rabelais’s “Gargantua,” to the “Zadig” of Voltaire: and, upon the whole, practical jokes suited his taste far better than verbal ones.

At the date of my narrative, professing jesters had not altogether gone out of fashion at court. Several of the great continental “powers” still retained their “fools,” who wore motley, with caps and bells, and who were expected to be always ready with sharp witticisms, at a moment’s notice, in consideration of the crumbs that fell from the royal table.

Our king, as a matter of course, retained his “fool.” The fact is, he required something in the way of folly — if only to counterbalance the heavy wisdom of the seven wise men who were his ministers — not to mention himself.

His fool, or professional jester, was not only a fool, however. His value was trebled in the eyes of the king, by the fact of his being also a dwarf and a cripple. Dwarfs were as common at court, in those days, as fools; and many monarchs would have found it difficult to get through their days (days are rather longer at court than elsewhere) without both a jester to laugh with, and a dwarf to laugh at. But, as I have already observed, your jesters, in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, are fat, round and unwieldy — so that it was no small source of self-gratulation with our king that, in Hop-Frog (this was the fool’s name,) he possessed a triplicate treasure in one person …

Continue the tale at:

FreeThinke said...

The Powerful are subject to the vengeful fancies of all SORTS of "Court Jesters." To wit:

'Twas cruel to see the ghastly farce

Dressmakers made of Michelle's arse

Bedecked in yellow frock unkind

To our nation's First Behind!

~ Unohoo