Friday, February 02, 2007

There once was a lass

I heard that there's this poetry celebration in blogland today, and I started thinking about what poem to post. (Disclaimer: I can't prove it, online-ness being what it is, but all snippets herein are typed from memory. Therefore, all errors, misspellings, and grammar or punctuation goofs are also from mine own faulty memory. Live with it; I have to. Actually, I think I'll only minimally punctuate. Moving on.)

I always liked Robert Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" (the woods are lovely, dark and deep), and Robert Graves' "The Naked and The Nude" (for me the naked and the nude, by lexicographers construed as synonyms that should express the same deficiencies of dress or shelter stand as wide apart as love from lies or truth from art), and who doesn't enjoy the start of the general prologue to the Canterbury Tales? Good old Chaucer: Whan that Aprile withe its shoures soute the droughte of Marche hathe perced to the roote, and bathed every veine in swiche licour, of whiche vertu engendred is the floure ... I know I spelled most of that wrong, but oh well. (You should see what spellcheck thought of it!) I had to learn it in 1986-87, I haven't seen it in print in many years. Ask me nicely, and I can speak it forsoothely. It isn't meant to be written.

But the more I think about it, I'm just not so much into poetry, these examples to the contrary notwithstanding. Even my pal Shakespeare, and I love his work (whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing, end them), much as I love Hamlet, say (and it's so atypical of Ms Happy-Ending but that is my favorite of Shakespeare's plays), I also adore Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, which is not what you'd call poetic, except perhaps poetic justice.

Am I getting too English-major? The bottom line is, I'm not so much into the poetry, ironically enough for someone with a poem published in a semi-real book herself. (One of only two poems I ever wrote, it was in college is my only excuse, and the book was published by B&N, of works by its employees, it's as close to self-published as you can get without self-publishing ... though it is a book I can hold in my hand, it's something.) I can enjoy a poem, appreciate a poem, I just don't seek them out, don't read many ... don't know why that is, it just is.

Most of the poems I do like have rhythm and regular rhymes, and that's what I like about them, their adherence to the structure. Let's not get into what that says about me, okay? That's a can of worms to open another day! I'll just leave you with this, a ccr original that took me seconds to craft (you can tell, can't you?).

Words like toys to me
Yet somehow in a poem
I only see rhyme

3 Comments:

Anonymous MonicaPDX said...

Oh, I'd love to hear you recite Chaucer! My HS German/French teacher occasionally favored us with a bit of it. Lovely. Thanks for bringing back that memory!

As to Shakespeare - I don't know if I found this link in the Brigid page comments, or from bouncing around. But if you've never encountered it, the following LJ post has got to be one of the funniest related to Shakespeare I've ever read:

The Things I Will Not Do When I Direct A Shakespeare Production, on Stage or Film
http://tinyurl.com/pvl5e

Don't miss the link to a second page of 'em, at the top in the ETA line. Oh gawd. Seriously, I had to stop reading and take a breather in the middle, I was laughing so hard!

11:46 AM, February 05, 2007  
Anonymous kali said...

My response has 2 parts.
The first part:
I heard Cloris Leachman "read" a scene from "Othello." She delivered it so well that I actually understood it in the vernacular that it was written in. It was spectacular.

And the second part is from a CD entitled "What? Again?" and it goes like this:
The last time I saw you was the first time I kissed you
And I've got to admit, my darlin', since then I haven't missed you.
There was something that evening that put me in the mood
I was in the kitchen and you were in the nude.
(chorus): Oh you were naked and nude
I could tell just by looking
Your clothes had been removed.
...
by Lou & Peter Berryman

I love my Berryman CDs :-)

12:37 AM, February 06, 2007  
Blogger J. D. said...

Your poem in the BB&N book was good.

4:13 PM, February 07, 2007  

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