Friday, 8 August 2008

Ancient Calender Poetry and Motown

Poems which derive their subject matter and structure from the calender, such as Ovid's Fasti, find a modern counterpart in Stevie Wonder's I Just Called to Say I Love You. Direct references to days and months are mixed with allusions to festivals and seasonal changes all in calendrical sequence. There is even some astrological content.

No New Year's Day to celebrate
No chocolate covered candy hearts to give away
No first of spring
No song to sing
In fact here's just another ordinary day

No April rain
No flowers bloom
No wedding Saturday within the month of June
But what it is, is something true
Made up of these three words that I must say to you

I just called to say I love you
I just called to say how much I care
I just called to say I love you
And I mean it from the bottom of my heart

No summer's high
No warm July
No harvest moon to light one tender August night
No autumn breeze
No falling leaves
Not even time for birds to fly to southern skies

No Libra sun
No Halloween
No giving thanks to all the Christmas joy you bring
But what it is, though old so new
To fill your heart like no three words could ever do...

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