Re: Imported From Facebook

1

I sometimes wish it were acceptable for people to write tiny, whimsical essays instead of putting a hard return after every clause and making it a poem. But then I mostly don't like poetry.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 10:26 AM
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I'm with Smearcase, and I do like poetry ok, but I am somewhat philistine about the prose-with-short-lines school of poetry.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 10:27 AM
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But also I didn't like this in general.

:/

Sorry for pooping on your post, LB!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 10:28 AM
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I liked this as a tiny-whimsical-essay sort of thing. I confess that poetry I actually enjoy is usually something with a definable verse form and rhyme scheme.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 10:29 AM
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Any comments are better than no comments.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 10:30 AM
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the question returns:
Why is Antonio sad?

I look around
my train,

and there is no one
to ask.

[left as an exercise for the reader]


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 10:39 AM
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I liked it.

Though looking at it again, it is less interesting on a second read -- I think the "prose-with-short-lines" aspect of it creates a feeling of surprise and tension reading it the first time which dissipates on a second reading.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 10:41 AM
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This is not nearly as egregious an example of "let's give this poetry-looking formatting and call it a poem" as some I've seen, but it didn't do much for me as poetry. I also found its content more... pedestrian? than it might have been, though it did on the whole make the author seem like a likeable person.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 11:39 AM
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I feel like a heel saying anything unkind about it, though, because the author *does* seem nice and it's all very earnest and personal. Blah!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 11:42 AM
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Speaking of pedestrian content, this is now an appropriate thread for me to repost a link to this poem composed of excerpts from a year's worth of NYT Obit headlines.

...

A Polarizing Figure Who Led a Movement
British Blues-Rock Guitarist
Invented Diplomacy Game
Creator of the Coach Handbag
Canadian Singer

...


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 11:45 AM
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10: And "Fuck You Clown" works nicely for it.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 1:37 PM
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1: I believe the term is "prose poem". frex: http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/goodtime-jesus/


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 3:08 PM
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I liked it well enough (tho I'm ridiculously easy) to spend the afternoon re-reading the poem and reading/thinking about the Merchant (and the others)

Antonio is such a fucking ass, who just loves himself loving. Portia is charming and attractive, but also manipulative as fuck and shows little mercy toward Shylock. She survives, as a woman, in her "naughty world."

Antonio and Shylock loathe each other for reasons other than religion or ethnicity. Portia used anti-semitism as a tool.

I hated them all.

I think I even hate the poet.

I hate critics.

And I want to kick
the homeless dude.

But this makes me sad.

Icicles filled the long window
With barbaric glass.
The shadow of the blackbird
Crossed it, to and fro.
The mood
Traced in the shadow
An indecipherable cause.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 3:28 PM
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Antonio is sad...cause Capitalism!

Greed and desire make love impossible.

Same so for Shylock.

Antonio and Shylock are both hypocrites, Shylock in denying whatever love might be found, Antonio in seeing love that isn't really there. They both end up very alone with their useless identities. (Nobody is impressed at the end by Antonio's love and sadness.)

Our poet, being a post--modern, is sad cause...Identity!

Even the fifth graders think it is all about Identity. Where'd the money go? Even the homeless dude doesn't care about money.

Portia knew it was all about money and desire, and smiled a shrug.

Have we all become Antonio and Shylock?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 3:48 PM
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Thanks, Lizardbreath, for posting this! I agree with Neb that maybe it didn't need to be a *poem,* but it certainly captured the poignancy of teaching.


Posted by: Mme. Merle | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 3:52 PM
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I can't remember the last time one of my Facebook friends posted a proper poem. Not sure if that's a criticism of my generation, of the subculture those people mostly represent (performing arts!), or just of my friends. I'm thankful that poetry does turn up on some other people's timelines.


Posted by: joyslinger | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 4:19 PM
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No real strong reactions to the verse or the content on my part; I have no categorical aversion to prose poetry and I have some favorite small poems that are chopped into lines nearly this short (hello, Stephen Crane!).

The most prominent nitpick I have is the exact thing NickS defended - the division of a long poem into such short lines - and truthfully I was glad to see the defense. That choice seems a little more reasonable to me when I consider it as the poet's acting to force a more measured pace and to hide what comes farther along.


Posted by: joyslinger | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 4:19 PM
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I tend to think, when I hear "prose poem", of works with the superficial form of prose, but with many poetic qualities, rather than works with the superficial form of poetry. But I don't know what the accepted use of the term is, tbh.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 4:49 PM
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I've heard "prose poem" in reference to prose which is simply short, though otherwise not much different from other prose. It's a term which asks for an allowance, and is disparaged.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 4:56 PM
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19: By whom is the term disparaged? It works quite well as a description of work by Rimbaud, Baudelaire, Mallarme, Rilke, Trakl, Char, Michaux, Burroughs, Edson, Bly, Tate, and Simic, among others, work which does not fit the categories of essay or narrative. Eliot did not care for the term, it's true, but really, so what?


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 6:18 PM
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My tendency is also of the inclination described in 18.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 6:30 PM
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18: That's the definition I am familiar with. I was thinking the tiny whimsical essays smearcase suggests might fit the category.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 6:33 PM
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20: Or tramell ribald madam, chair guru uh, macabre uh, bries lakier klux?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 6:33 PM
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It's an anagroem!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 6:33 PM
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If they were whimsical enough.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 6:34 PM
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My co-worker B/ruce W/eigl writes poetry that seems very prose-like on the surface, but actually contains a lot of intense poetics. One technique that is really important to his work is the trick where the line means one thing or has one set of emotional resonances if you end it at the line break, and a different meaning or set of resonances if you read through to the end of the sentence.

Reading Bruce's stuff and hearing him talk about it has made me very reluctant to dismiss any work as "a short essay with extra hard returns" until I have examined it thoroughly. *Song of Napalm* is a really harrowing work.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 6:44 PM
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I agree that people, including me!, often overlook poetic complexity. But... not always.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 6:49 PM
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Like this?


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 6:50 PM
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28 to 24.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 6:51 PM
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20: It is disparaged by me. A short piece of prose isn't rendered poetic by its length. It might be poetic prose -- if by poetic we mean sweet sounding, intensely metaphoric, or highly resonant of an individual moment or idea -- but if so that quality is independent of length. Novella works because it doesn't imply anything in addition to its technical definition: short novel. "Prose-poem" implies that the work is doing something more than regular prose does, and often it is applied to works that are doing less than regular prose does. I have nothing against any of the writers you've helpfully listed, but I'm not sure they would have used "prose-poem" to describe their work. I also like short bits of prose -- I write them myself -- but I would not ever call them "prose-poems" without trying to be funny.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 6:53 PM
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30: Bly, Simic, and Tate all use the term, and it is used by John Ashbery, for instance, to refer to Rimbaud's Illuminations,. But suit yourself. It's sad that so much of the world fails to live up to your standards.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 7:04 PM
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It's sad that
so much of the world

fails to live

up
        to
your s
        tandards.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 7:06 PM
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I think of my comments as prose poems.

They don't rhyme.

For one thing.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 7:18 PM
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If I were less lazy, I would comment only in limerick form.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 7:25 PM
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Hang on. I've just read the linked poem. Its deal is that it's staccato. (Sort of; it hangs itself up over and over again. Its form is essential to that, and it's effective.) I would not call it a prose poem.*

I haven't read the thread -- perhaps this has all been mentioned.

* Prose poems are what Garrison Keillor favors in his paeans to Billy Collins, like so


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 8:08 PM
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22: "Tiny whimsical essays! Tiny whimsical essays! Git 'cher tiny whimsical essays!"

Many years later, as I faced the zoning board I was to remember those distant afternoons when my father made us hawk tiny whimsical essays at the county fair.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 8:36 PM
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Git 'cher tiny whimsical essays!

git: 'cher' is not a git command. See 'git --help'.

Did you mean this?
	cherry
~$

(Actually

~$ git 'cher
gave me an interactive prompt, so I quit out of there because I still don't really know how to use git beyond the very basics and I didn't want to mess things up.)


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 9:15 PM
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magit has prevented me from learning how to use the actual real git interface, which is probably not such a bad thing.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 9:20 PM
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The two prose poems that I like best are Auden's Caliban to his Audience and Baudelaire's

It's a form that's easy to do badly, maybe harder to do well, everyone listed in 20 is pretty good.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 9:20 PM
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Petits poemes en prose


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 9:40 PM
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Ceci n'est pas une prose poem. The lines and stanzas create various poetic effects. I liked it and would not have liked it as much if it hadn't been for the line breaks.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 10:28 PM
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39: It isn't a form, it's a pretension.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 10:31 PM
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As for the poem in question, I stopped reading it half-way through, so I suppose that says something.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 10:34 PM
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boy, I had an exciting evening, how about yinz?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 10:36 PM
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41: Your carriage returns, monsieur. But you do not appear happy, no?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 10:37 PM
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There are a half dozen firemen, the po-po, and an ambulance outside the house of a neighbor. Not sure why.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 10:51 PM
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yikes. all I did was watch an exciting game of the american collegiate football.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 10:52 PM
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I stood around for a while but it's really hard to look inconspicuous as a loiterer when it's this cold.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 10:52 PM
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Perhaps some sort of telescope is in order.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 11:01 PM
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It was in the 50s and raining here today, which was great for snowmelt along the sides of the street. Now the temperature is rapidly plummeting towards single-digits and the heat is blasting so high in my building that I almost feel like opening a window. Outside of summer, my apartment is warmest when it's below freezing outside.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 11:34 PM
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16 - I've seen a poetry thing like the "like and I'll give you an artist" thing on Facebook.

I liked the poem, and I like that form - makes me read it more slowly and pay attention to the words, rather than skimming through a piece of prose.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 01- 7-14 1:11 AM
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I shared the poem on FB, from a friend who wrote it, and I liked it for a lot of reasons. It reminded me of how we were taught to teach literature in ways that are radically different from the "ivory tower" methods, and how thinking about literature shapes the ways we think about life, possibly in non-ethical ways. My own dissertation was about how literary characters and affects are perceived by readers to be more "real" than their experiences of empathy with other people they see and know. It hit a lot of buttons for me about teaching, literature, and frustrations with students. As far as the form goes, yeah, both the lyric essay and the prosy poem are pretty accepted in our circles. Not everyone likes them.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 01- 7-14 1:28 AM
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I suppose if anything was going to draw AWB back to Unfogged it was this post.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01- 7-14 1:30 AM
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I've been reading! I've just been going through some stupid personal shit and not sure how or whether to plague you all with it.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 01- 7-14 2:02 AM
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Well, it's nice to see you in any case.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01- 7-14 2:09 AM
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You too! I'm more fine than I sound; it's just complicated and stupid. I have interviews coming up, a somewhat emotionally miserable situation here, and a kind of mixed happiness about my job. After so many years of working with very limited resources, I'm able to do whatever I want with my classes and finding that it doesn't actually produce the best or most dedicated work from students, and that's annoying because, well, I don't want Malcolm Gladwell to be right about the benefits of hardship.

In the past few weeks, I've gotten several random emails from Public College students from five and six years ago about how I changed their lives and they want to pursue academia, and, while I warn them about the path that might put them on, I also know they'd be genuinely better suited for it than any student I've had here in Utopia, where students completely freak out and crumble in the face of difficulty or emotional problems. Here, they have no idea what it's like to defend yourself against profs who think you're dumb and can't cut it. I find it frustrating to think that giving students every possible advantage doesn't actually result in resilient young people. But it seems rich private school students just may not be my calling as a population, and that's making my life here even more alienated than it would otherwise be. Or maybe I should just move to a city and live like a free person again. I dunno. Stuff is hard.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 01- 7-14 2:18 AM
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Stuff is way hard.

What, I don't mean it like that.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01- 7-14 2:21 AM
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I find it frustrating to think that giving students every possible advantage doesn't actually result in resilient young people.

Huh. I would think resilience is generally a response to adversity, and people with every advantage would generally not develop it to any meaningful degree.

But it seems rich private school students just may not be my calling as a population, and that's making my life here even more alienated than it would otherwise be.

That's probably better for your long-term career prospects, though, isn't it? There are way, way, way more Public Colleges than Utopiae out there, after all.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01- 7-14 2:27 AM
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At least, in terms of students. I guess there are a lot of small private colleges, but most of them are probably not very utopian.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01- 7-14 2:28 AM
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I took a course on prose poems, way back when life was free and happy. I don't remember much of it; I wrote a paper on Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog.

I'm happy the blog is calling out to its lost ones. Come back, come back! Immerse yourselves in low-hanging fruit!


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 01- 7-14 2:48 AM
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It's currently warmer than it has been in two days where I live. That's also a sucky thing.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 01- 7-14 2:50 AM
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It's still negative F, but it's an improvement.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 01- 7-14 2:51 AM
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You should move to Alaska. It's currently a balmy 25 degrees in Anchorage.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01- 7-14 2:52 AM
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Even Fairbanks is at +1, which is warm for January there.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01- 7-14 2:59 AM
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65

Jesus Milhous Christ, one fucking masala chai with dinner and I'm re├źnacting "The Little Hours." La Rochefoucauld this and La Rochefoucauld that. I hate caffeine and all it stands for.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01- 7-14 4:33 AM
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Off topic, it looks like just kicking the banks has actually caused economic recovery in the UK: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25635819


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 01- 7-14 4:44 AM
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65: If no one had ever learned to drink coffee, very few people would comment on Unfogged after midnight.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-14 5:36 AM
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It's always after midnight.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 7-14 6:17 AM
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65. You just need to build up your resistance. I recommend starting with a couple of Americanos at breakfast, an espresso late morning with another one or two after dinner, a mug of builder's tea with your lunch and a pot of Earl Grey to rehydrate early evening.

Before you know it you'll be drinking litres of the stuff and falling asleep before you finish the pot.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01- 7-14 6:28 AM
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We're always letting it all hang out.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 7-14 6:29 AM
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re: 69

My resistance has crumbled recently. I tend, these days, to just have one or two coffees over the morning, and one late afternoon or early evening. In the past I drank much more. But the other day I had a couple of biggish morning coffees in quick succession and then a strong after-lunch coffee, and I was a wreck for the rest of the afternoon. Shaky and nauseous. I thought I had come down with something quick and nasty [food poisoning, or something] until I pinned it on the coffee.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01- 7-14 6:32 AM
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As for things poetic, I tend towards the Kenneth Goldsmithian. I do think poetry is an area where the Gusty Bus is ddeply segmented.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 7-14 6:44 AM
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66 is great. Makes a lot of sense. (And the PPI tap is still far from being turned off... and after that there's rate hedge compensation... and it's employed thousands of people processing the claims etc as well.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01- 7-14 6:45 AM
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For instance, people are always wanting to go back in time and kill Hitler. Why not Milton?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 7-14 6:46 AM
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71. That happened to me too. I went on a weak tea regime and after about a year I built back up, not because I was macho about caffeine but because I really missed the taste of the stuff. My normal intake these days is more like three mugs of drip coffee and three or four of weak tea. Quite moderate from what I used to do.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01- 7-14 6:47 AM
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74. Because Milton was generally on the side of the angels (apart from being of the devil's party without knowing it)?

Go and take out d'Annunzio.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01- 7-14 6:52 AM
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For instance, people are always wanting to go back in time and kill Hitler. Why not Milton?

In the end, burning down the Initech building turned out to be a good thing. Why would you want to prevent that?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01- 7-14 7:31 AM
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D'Annunzio is an inspiration for those of us interested in capricious, impressively bizarre personal dictatorial regimes. Let's not time travel kill him just yet.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01- 7-14 7:31 AM
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To be clear, apart from the merits of this particular poem, I have nothing against straightforward language in poems -- sometimes it works -- or extremely short bits of prose, or lyrical essays, though none come to mind. I just don't think anyone should use the word "prose-poem" with a straight face. And yes, the world often fails to live up to my expectations.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01- 7-14 7:31 AM
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77: Because bringing the ratio of people to cake into line is a more important goal.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 7-14 7:33 AM
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79 to the humble bits of AWB's comments that I was able to read.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01- 7-14 7:34 AM
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Since sulking in 16 about the paucity of poetry in my Facebook timeline, I've discovered (1) that my last status, five days old and forgotten by me, was in verse form and (2) someone somewhere has adapted the exercise whereby people have recently been sharing art on Facebook so that it concerns poetry instead, and that's now found my friends.


Posted by: joyslinger | Link to this comment | 01- 7-14 9:03 AM
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This bottle I am holding means
[indent] that you are so iced, dude.

Oh sorry. I was just writing a bro's poem.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01- 7-14 9:33 AM
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80: THE FUTURE IS NOT SET. THERE IS NO CAKE SAVE WHAT WE MAKE FOR OURSELVES.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01- 7-14 9:34 AM
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83:
Charmed with a drink which Highlanders compose
A German traveller exclaimed with glee:
"Potztausend, sare! If dis is Athol Brose,
How goot dere Athol Boetry must be!"


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01- 7-14 9:34 AM
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I liked this poem, though it may be as middlebrow as a TED talk by Zadie Smith

http://poems.com/poem.php?date=16023

I find it kind of a sad poem, but the kids seem to really like it, in a straightforward yay! rockets! way.

And it also
Uses short
Prose lines.


Posted by: conflated | Link to this comment | 01- 9-14 7:02 AM
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