An Old Spanish Love Song: a memento poem

The prompt for W3 Weekly Poetry Challenge is to write a memento poem (never heard of it till now). In response, I wrote a very quick poem. The poem came straightaway into my head! (along with some romantic music).
Then I read it. It was dreadful. It was a mock limerick kind of love poem and didn’t follow the memento rules. I deleted it.

What is the memento poetry form?

The Prompt Guidelines:
A ‘memento’ is a poem about a holiday or an anniversary, consisting of two stanzas. Each of the two stanzas is: 
•Six lines;
•Syllabic: 8-6-2-8-6-2;
•Rhyming: a/b/c/a/b/c.
Potential variations for W3 
•Feel free to add an extra stanza;
•Do not confine your words to an anniversary or celebration; 
•Rather, explore a moment or an emotion, should your thoughts wander there.

The poem I now publish in response to the prompt is called An Old Spanish Love Song. It hasn’t come out like anything I wanted. The memento poetic form is fun and interesting but I’m struggling with it (I suppose I might get the hang of it if I persevere). Anyway, if you are reading this, it means it has escaped the bin (for now). I hope you enjoy it.

An Old Spanish Love Song

An Old Spanish Love Song | Digital Painting©️Lesley Scoble
That night she heard their old song play
Recalling memories
Of love
Under the silver moon, Olé!
Cicadas’ reveries

Music carries o’er the sea
Alone and lost in thought,
She thinks,
of Pablo… (or was it José?)
Her heart he once had sought,
she blinks,

A tear falls for her Spanish hombre
and she sips a can of beer
and gives a toast to what’s’isnombre!
and wishes he were here,
el dude

Lesley Scoble, April, 2023

Emily Romano

Emily Romano (b. 1924) is an American poet famous for creating the memento poetic form. Her poetry often explores themes of memory, the passing of time, and loss. The style is both poignant and memorable. Here is an example of her memento poetry.

Sky Flowers

Circumference unlimited
As flowers in the sky
We stand in awe, inhibited,
As bright explosives fly
From land.

July wears flowers in the sky
Spreading above the town
In flight;
We stand in awe, ready to cry
Aloud as they resound
This night.

Emily Romano
Salud translates to health. It is also spoken as a drinking toast equivalent to “Your Health!”
Hombre is Spanish for Man.
Nombre means name.
Whats’isnombre? is my play with the colloquial “What’isname?

The Ending
Endings to poems are important, aren’t they? I was stumped by how to end my poem. According to the rules of the memento poem I must end it with two syllables that rhyme with the word in the third line of the stanza (In my case, the Spanish word Salud, which translates as health and is an equivalent to our drinking toast, “to your health!”) 

It surprises me how many words rhyme with Salud! I think of dozens! Were any of them any good? No.

I thought of ending my poem with M’lud (it rhymes!). They use this term to mean “My lord” in the British court to address the judge. It is also an exclamation of dismay or surprise (archaic). Was it a last line fitting to end a romantic poem about a woman pining for a lost Spanish love (even though she can’t memento his name)? M’lud! I think not. 

I was at a loss. How to end the poem? Should I change the Salud word? 

Then I think of ‘yo dude!’ This appeals to me, but it doesn’t conjure up an image of a Latin lover, does it? It’s too urban street.
Sin dude, is one of my options. It translates as “without hesitation”. It has a lot going for it. 
Then I think up, El dude. I like it! It presents an image of a cool Spanish dude, does it not? 
It is that, or I tear up my third attempt at this poetry form! If you are reading this, you will know that it escaped the cutting room floor. For now.
Thank you POW Destiny, and David, W3 Prompt #51 for this challenge and encouragement. I have not found it easy!

2023 April PAD Challenge: Day 18
Thank you Writers Digest for your Day 18 poetry prompt.
1. Write an anti-love poem.
2. Write a love poem, and/or...
(I hope and trust my poem An Old Spanish Love Song might also fulfil this prompt’s brief)
The soft strains of music fill my head
and remind me of a love I knew once dead…

L. S. April, 2023

A surviving remnant from a binned poem that didn’t fit the memento form.

I cannot sign off without wishing Sir William Shakespeare a Happy 400th Birthday on April 23rd. Happy Birthday Will!
It is also St George’s Day today. Therefore, Happy St George’s Day! 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿

18 responses to “An Old Spanish Love Song: a memento poem”

  1. This is so funny! I read your previous attempt, before you binned it. It vanished as soon as I pressed the like button.

    Ole… Pablo (or) Jose. El dude sounds Texan though 😂 whenever I hear hombre I think of ‘Asterix in Spain.’ That’s where I first came across the word . The memory of some of those panels went well with my reading of your poem.

    Liked by 1 person

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