Sunday, December 07, 2008

Christmas wishlist - Reading...

According to Mariella Frostrup on The Book Show on SkyArts:
"Fry believes that if you can speak and read English, you can write poetry. In The Ode Less Travelled he reveals the delight to be had from metre, rhyme and verse forms and offers a step by step guide in how to turn the prosaic into the poetic."

Read the Guardian review on here, which compares it to a Delia Smith course on cooking!

I don't know how true is the Delia analogy, but I like Fry's sentiment: if you can speak and read a language, you can write poetry in that language. There is no ifs or buts about it. It is not a class thing (it is not true that only toffs write poetry), and it is not true that only effeminate men would write poems (try Rudyard Kipling), and it is not just dreamers and idealists with daisies in their hair who "do" poetry (try any number of war poets like Wilfred Owen).

Whether a particular verse is judged good or bad by others is a different matter, of course. But whilst there is something to be said for instituting appropriate scansion and verse length for a particular poetic form, it is the subjective resonances evoked by word imagery and further amplified by the cadences of a language's inherent musicality that lends poetry its emotive power.

And subjective resonances are as much dependent on the reader as the poet. Not only is there no accounting for personal taste, but there is no accounting for phenomenological empathy, either.

One should not prevent oneself from using a medium of expression simply for fear of not using the medium well. It is the expression that counts, after all. Or at least that is what I - a reluctant poet who writes poems because she can't help herself - would like to believe.

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At Wed Dec 24, 08:52:00 p.m. GMT, Blogger ah-yun said...

Merry Christmas! Have a good one! :)

At Wed Dec 24, 09:12:00 p.m. GMT, Blogger laichungleung said...

You must be too busy doing whatever that you are doing. Enjoy.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

At Wed Dec 31, 09:32:00 a.m. GMT, Blogger Snowdrops said...

OMG sooooooo sorry Yun and LCL I must have been blind as a bat as I didn't noticed that you've left me Christmas greetings before already! Thank you soooo much for your kind wishes :)

I'm glad to know from your blogs that you are surrounded by good friends and family at Christmas, and thank goodness I'm not too late in taking this opportunity to wish you and yours all the very best for the New Year :)


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