The dominant vehicle for oral poetry in the song culture of Kálymnos is the mantinádha, a rhyming couplet in iambic decapentameter. Though this poetic form has been studied extensively by philologists and anthropologists working in the Greek Aegean, a combined philological, ethnographic, and musicological approach is necessary to establish an expanded theoretical framework capable of exploring the interaction between poetry, music, and sociality. In performance, the texts of these poems are stretched, rearranged, interrupted, and delayed in order to conform to the contours of different melodies, each of which makes unique structural demands on the couplets that are sung to it. Close musical, metrical, and ethnographic analysis of several performances and attention to the interpretive choices of the expert performer or meraklís suggests an implicit theory, a model of the internal theory encoded in the music that governs the Kalymnian melody-poetry interface and reveals the ways in which the application of specific poetic and musical techniques both heightens the dialogic quality of these couplets and imbues them with socially poetic power.