Earl Gray

Earl Gray
"You can argue with me but, in the end, you'll have to face that fact that you're arguing with a squirrel." - Earl Gray

Monday, April 1, 2013

Jedi Poets

Earl the Squirrel's Rule #37
    "Convenient Poetics ("ConPo") is now the dominant force in English language poetry, eclipsing even Content Regency. Advocates of Convenient Poetics, known as "ConPoets", embrace their philosophy with the pious dedication of living martyrs."

    It is no accident that prosody is a lost art, even (if not especially) among poets.  What was common knoweldge to grade schoolers a century ago when poetry ruled is not taught today, not even in the poetry modules of Creative Writing courses.  

    If you can answer these three rudimentary questions about poetry you are part of a tiny, resistant minority, surrounded by those less informed:

    1. William Blake's 1794 poem, "Tyger, Tyger", is:

a) Trochaic.
b) Iambic.
c) Other or unknown.

    2. T.S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" is:

1. Free Verse.
2. Metrical.
3. Other or unknown.

    3. W. C. Williams's 1923 poem, "The Red Wheelbarrow", is:

1. Free Verse.
2. Metrical.
3. Other or unknown.

    As a Jedi Poet, you are capable of astonishing feats, including:

  1. discerning verse from free verse;

  2. discerning free verse from prose or prose poetry;

  3. predicting what poems people will enjoy;

  4. predicting what poems or lines of poetry or song that people will remember or forget;

  5. judging whether or not an author or editor has studied the elements of poetry;

  6. understanding why the popularity of poets such as Edgar Allen Poe rose only after scansion disappeared from grad school curricula;

  7. understanding that Earl Gray's 37th Law is a pun;

  8. contributing to serious critiquing forums; and,

  9. serving as mentors.

     One might think that the efforts of these authorities would be appreciated by their beneficiaries.  Not always so.  For example, a few Jedi appeared on a popular blog and politely corrected the sponsored "experts" on fundamentals.  This resulted in one maven recalling a poetry textbook that was riddled with errors.  Was there so much as a word of thanks for the Jedis' contribution?  Hardly.  Indeed, the sponsor shut down the response feature to avoid future embarrassments.

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