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

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Heroic Couplet

     No, not all poetry is art.  It's just a mode of speech.

     This poem will not survive its time, as Shakespeare's have.  It will not be preserved by those who tread the boards.  It may be buried underneath the morning news.  It lives in randomly accessed memories.  It does not limn.  It does not need discussion.  It won't be heard in English class.  It means no more than what it says. 

     It's just a message someone leaves behind.


1.  Heroic Couplet

2.  Heroic Couplet - Part II


  1. Oh, dear. A listless stream of 10 flat, lifeless, unrhythmical, unmemorable monosyllables does not iambic pentameter (or any other meter) make, whatever the (apparently tone-deaf) writer may suppose.

    The writing is simply too weak to do anything but pass before the eyes, leaving no real impression on the memory. For this to get noticed at all, it's more or less reliant on the picture of the pouty little girl eliciting sympathetic reactions (and if successful in this, people can be expected to remember the picture, not the words which accompanied it). Writing such as this is therefore not poetry in any meaningful sense, but its positive antithesis.

    Yet the original idea is not without a certain inherent pathos, which could be developed into something a bit more poetically effective than this. Let's see what happens if we try to apply a minimal amount of craftsmanship to exactly the same theme, and reconstruct it as a little tale with some sort of progression and denouement:

    Daddy, why do you look so gloomy,
    Mommy, why do you cry?
    And when I laugh you look straight through me -
    Why won't you love me, why?

    You'd laugh too if you really knew me,
    ´'Cause I really do try -
    I don't want you so sad and gloomy
    After I have to die.

    I'm pretty sure even this is an improvement; not, mind you, that utterly stultifying, artless banality is all that difficult to improve on. I'm pretty sure that in my grandparents' and great-grandparents' time, any reasonably literate 10 year old could have done likewise.

    1. Artless poetry. My point, exactly.

      Thanks again, Ragashree.


Your comments and questions are welcome.