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POETRYETC  February 2006

POETRYETC February 2006

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Subject:

Re: thought for the day: be careful what you write

From:

Patrick McManus <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Poetryetc provides a venue for a dialogue relating to poetry and poetics <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 14 Feb 2006 09:17:51 -0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Ken Sorry about the Assyrians in your office - bloody cohorts as well
P sad P

-----Original Message-----
From: Poetryetc provides a venue for a dialogue relating to poetry and
poetics [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Kenneth Wolman
Sent: 13 February 2006 22:54
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: thought for the day: be careful what you write

Mark Weiss wrote:

> Here's an aspect of meter that we never covered during any of the past 
> donnybrooks: its usefulness for marching. No army ever advanced to 
> free verse. So, earlier today, as I slogged through the day-old snow 
> in the improbable forest that borders my lodgings, I realized that I 
> was keeping cadence by humming, over and over,  "I think that I shall 
> never see-ee-ee/ a pome beauteeful as a tree-ee-ee." Curse you, Joyce 
> Kilmer!
>
> Mark

Desultory comments--my office was shut down today.

Marching verse.  "The Assyrian came down like a wolf on the fold and his 
cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold."  Nice beat but can you dance 
to it?

Or this--

    "Over the cobbles he clatters and clangs in the dark inn-yard.
    And he taps with his whip on the shutters, but all is locked and barred.
    He whistles a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
    But the landlord's black-eyed daughter,
    Bess, the landlord's daughter,
    Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair."

Actually that's less of a marching tune than the Byron, Noyes was really 
going for it and it's way more sophisticated than I remembered, 
considering I haven't read it since high school.  "The Highwayman" is as 
hammy as hell and was turned into an appropriately hammy movie in 1951.  
Dan O'Herlihy who I recall had some swash and buckle.  Would've been a 
perfect role for Flynn.

My equivalent: coming out of a concert or opera humming a tune.  Unless 
you're James Levine, you can't come out of the opera whistling passages 
from Lulu or Satyagraha </html/compositions/satyagraha.html> either 
(actually with some Glass like "Contrary Motion" you've got a prayer 
because it keeps looping).  For that matter try whistling some Bartok, 
Duke Bluebeard's Castle.  People will look at you funny.

Joyce Kilmer has more stuff in New Jersey named after him than half a 
dozen former Governors.  That tells you the level of politics in this 
state.  He was born in New Brunswick and graduated from Rutgers.  He has 
a school named after him (at least one) and a rest stop on the Jersey 
Turnpike.  There's a memorial forest in North Carolina named for him' 
God knows why it's in N.C. except maybe it was in Jersey and was paved 
over to put up a parking lot. 

In grammar school, where I didn't learn any, we had to sing "Trees."  
Every time we got to the word "breast" we all sniggered.  I just went 
back and read the poem.  It's every bit as bad as I remembered.  The Old 
Formalism, perhaps?  *I* deserve stuff named after me, only my stuff 
doesn't rhyme and when I say "breast" it's not going to get a laugh out 
of anyone.  I hope.

Ken

-- 
-------------------
Kenneth Wolman   www.kenwolman.com   rainermaria.typepad.com
"This is the best of all possible worlds only because it is the only
            one that showed up, said father." -- Russell Edson

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