ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Nostradamus:a Poem and Commentary

Updated on November 27, 2017
Dean Traylor profile image

Dean Traylor is a freelance writer and teacher. He wrote for IHPVA magazines and raced these vehicles with his father (who builds them).

Source

From the darkest days of the medieval past

A man stared into a watery bowl

And predicted the future will not last,

For wars and famines will raise the death toll,

And nonbelievers lose their poor soul,

Even though the dire future was cast

Fools still believe despite his failed past

Vision of things to come? Maybe or maybe not.
Vision of things to come? Maybe or maybe not. | Source
Doom, Gloom and Tabloid Darling
Doom, Gloom and Tabloid Darling | Source

What is Rime Royal?

Rime Royal is a lyrical poem similar to the sonnet tradition. In English, it uses Iambic Pentameter and has nearly an identical rhyme scheme.

. However, the poem only has seven lines. Geoffrey Chaucer’s “Troilus and Criseyde”, William Shakespeare’s “The Rape of Lucrece”, and Masefield’s “Dauber” used this format.

The Rhyme scheme for Rime Royal is as follows:

Line #1: A

Line #2: B

Line #3: A

Line #4: B

Line #5: B

Line #6: C

Line #7: C

Possibly, the most difficult part to master in Rime Royal – as well as in Sonnets and Ottava Rima – is the iambic pentameter. This refers to the (1) syllable count in each line, (2) and the variation of stresses placed on those syllables. Usually, a line will in these meter will have five unstressed syllable with five stressed one. In other words, one line will consist of 10 syllables.

It should be pointed out, however, that iambic pentameters haven’t been used as much as it was in the past. In fact, it's not uncommon for creative writing teachers to totally disregard this when instructing students on the finer points of writing sonnets, ottava rima, and rime royal. Possibly, the concept of stressed/unstressed sounds of syllables is not clearly understood or that the variation of accents used in the English language have changed this rules. Most likely, in a age when rules in the poetry – and English grammar – are changing, the concept of these meters have simply gotten lost.

Nostradamus the prophet...or poet?

Nostradamus has been labeled a lot of things over the years: a mystic, visionary pioneer, astrologer, prophet of doom, and the man who can see the future. However, one thing that seems to get lost in the translations of his accomplishment (both literally and metaphorically) was his literary prowess.

Much of his predictions were written in verses and rife with symbolic meanings, metaphors, and allegories. Often he organized writing in quatrain (four-line stanzas or poems) and had them in groups of 100 (centuries).

Legend has it he stared into a copper water bowl, fell into a trance, and then immediately wrote the “vision” he saw. This may explain the archaic and often muddled (some firm believes would say “mystical”) writing he produced.

There are many interpretations made by those who have studied his writings. Many ardent believers claim his writing revealed that he predicted the future and point to certain lines that seemingly match events in history that have occurred during and after Nostradamus’s life. Others claim it's complete gibberish that nearly anyone can read whatever they want into to them (Skeptic's Dictionary, 2012).

Another conclusion made by some was that he was a hack poet who managed to repackage his verses as “mysterious messages” from the future. Of course, that can’t be proven. And whether he was trying to be poet is speculative, at best.

The most interesting – and possibly the most plausible – interpretation came from Jean-Claude Pecker of the College de France in Paris. He believed that Nostradamus wrote cryptic verses as a way to

(1) criticize political and social issues of the time; and

(2) to protect his intentions in order to avoid repercussions.

Nostradamus: Prophet or Fraud

Did Nostradamus Predict the Future?

See results

© 2013 Dean Traylor

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      5 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Voted up and interesting. I found this fascinating about Nostradamus. Don't know what I really believe but he sure was a fascinating person. Passing this on.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      5 years ago from San Francisco

      Entertaining and information packed hub. Thank you.

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 

      5 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      Interesting facts about Nostradamus' writings. I agree with Pecker's conclusion about his probable purpose.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)