|Earl the Squirrel's Rule #42|
Poetry began with stories around a campfire, a few of which were deemed worthy of preservation. Without writing, this involved memorization which, in turn, led to the establishment of humanity's first science, prosody. Poetry shaped the tribe's culture, history, law, religion and language, especially in matters where the exact wording was critical. The legacy of this era is that poetry is a verbatim, audience-oriented audiovisual presentation.
We tell stories. We recite poems.
The Textual Era
|Earl the Squirrel's Rule #63|
The Internet Era
|Earl the Squirrel's Rule #12|
In many ways, the Internet has brought us back to the primordial campfire.
|Earl the Squirrel's Rule #16|
Soon we will be able to access every significant poem ever written. Unlike books, which tend to group poems by their authors, we can sample one poet after another's oeuvres, as prehistoric humans would have. As we do at open mics. Indeed, a growing number of these will be video presentations:
|Earl the Squirrel's Rule #13|
|Earl the Squirrel's Rule #19|
What is the effect of this increased awareness? As Chris Richardson said: "It's the American Ido effect: Being bad includes not knowing you're bad."
In judo we don't have to guess whether or not we have succeeded. The fact that we're on our ass is proof enough that we haven't. Without an audience, there is no similar way to show that we've failed at poetry.
|Earl the Squirrel's Rule #18|
If you want 100 "chimpanzees" to produce Shakespeare in less than 100 years try training them.