Although this poem, or whatever you want to call it, was penned by no less a personage as Tennyson, The Droning Voice was WAY more familiar with the plot due to her exposure, at an impressionable age, to “Princess Ida” – an operetta by the team of Gilbert & Sullivan, known in the vernacular as “G&S”. After she got hip-deep into the drone, she realized from whence Mr. Gilbert borrowed the plot of “Princess Ida”, and pondered, briefly, if she should continue the drone. She is not so much afraid of the Tennyson fans as she is the G&S fans. Those people are, well, fervent admirers of G&S, right up there with admirers of Star Trek, Star Wars, birding, model trains, and Ham radio, none of whom she wants to cross.
Still, given that “Princess Ida” is one of the lesser known G&S operettas, she went right on with the drone. The Droning Voice is a firm believer in source material, so if you are a fan of G&S, she dares you to listen to this particular drone and try to find your favorite aria, duet, chorus number. Hey, she was actually in a production of “Princess Ida”, and learned at least a small amount about the character she played from droning the poem, though she can’t really remember exactly what that was. She will state, however, that her admiration of Mr. Gilbert’s ability to wade through dense poetry to find an actual plot to swipe has been enhanced greatly.
The plot, sorta, is that a group of proto-feminists have opened an all girls school, and they hate men. Three guys, one of whom was actually married to Princess Ida (OK, he was 2 years-old when that happened, but still), manage to pretend to be girls and infiltrate the school. The plot thickens. Fans of “Some Like it Hot”, and/or cross-dressing may find this poem a bit too titillating, but The Droning Voice will allow you to decide for yourself whether this is true for you or not with this brief sample:
“On the lecture slate the circle rounded under female hands with flawless demonstration: follow’d then a classic lecture, rich in sentiment, with scraps of thunderous Epic lilted out by violet-hooded Doctors, elegies and quoted odes, and jewels five-words-long that on the stretch’d forefinger of all Time sparkle for ever:….”
The Droning Voice nearly dozed off while typing the above snippet. Perhaps you will, too.