Showing posts from July, 2010

Thought of the day

I don’t know if this thought is original, but it feels like one that arose without outside assistance. I don’t take the concept of originality too seriously, though. I have been haunted for decades by the words of Lenny Bruce: “Believe me, I’m not profound, this is something that I assume someone must have laid on me, because I do not have an original thought. I am screwed. I speak English. That’s it. I was not born in a vacuum. Every thought I have belongs to somebody else.” With that out of the way, here’s the thought:No matter how you spend your time, each day is full to the brim at its end.

Iambic pentameter: a snippet

I would like to feel, before I die, that I can read poetry intelligently. To help accomplish this goal, I’m slowly reading Stephen Fry’s book The Ode Less Traveled. The book is about writing poetry, and I figure that if I learn more about how poetry is written, the fog that descends whenever I encounter a poem MUST lift, at least a little.
I recommend this book strongly after just a few chapters, although it’s not for prudes. Fry mixes elegant language with profanity. I think the result is engaging and lively, plus I get to learn some rude British slang.
The first thing I learned that opened my eyes wide is that poetry is all about meter, or rhythm. As a quasi-musician, I appreciate this deeply. I always read with an inner voice speaking out loud, and now I know I must free this voice to be very emphatic, perhaps even aural if I’m not with company, whenever I encounter poetry.
The spoken voice is the pathway to feeling the rhythm.
Fry starts his exploration of style with iambic pentamete…