Eratosphere Forums - Metrical Poetry, Free Verse, Fiction, Art, Critique, Discussions Able Muse - a review of poetry, prose and art

Forum Left Top

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-25-2001, 03:07 PM
Richard Wakefield Richard Wakefield is offline
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Federal Way, Washington, USA
Posts: 1,662

Traditionally rhyme and meter are seen as mnemonics, aids for memorization. But I'm curious about their heuristic function. It may be too close an inquiry into the essentially private act of creation, but I'd like to ask how much of what you say is discovered in the process of casting about for the right accents or a rhyme that fits. Does it ever seem that a poem lies latent in the language somehow, as if awaiting discovery by the intrepid poet? Any examples?
Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2001, 05:28 AM
Tim Murphy Tim Murphy is offline
Lariat Emeritus
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Fargo ND, USA
Posts: 13,807

What a good question. I've written metrically for so long that the demands of meter don't take me where I need to go, but rhyme certainly does. So for the poet, it's entirely heuristic. We build in sonnets narrow rooms which free us from our shallow preconceptions of what we're out to say. Because this happens nearly every time, it's hard to pick an example, but backwards writing is perhaps the most dramatic. Take "Honey Wagon" which I posted in response to Balogna's first post. I heard the final couplet twenty-five years ago: You can't fertilize a field by farting through the fence. I "heard" half a stanza of quadruply alliterated ballad measure and thought, there's a poem there. I was frustrated that it never came until I finally figured out that, appropriately, the subject was procrastination. And I laboriously worked backward, building each of the three previous rhyme pairs and inventing the story which set up the fourth:

The Honey Wagon

Some say the custom cutters wheeled
and dealed at his expense.
Some say the aphids ate his yield
and call it negligence.
Some of the neighbors’ lips are sealed,
but folks with common sense
say you can’t fertilize a field
by farting through the fence.
Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Forum Right Top
Forum Left Bottom Forum Right Bottom
Right Left
Member Login
Forgot password?
Forum LeftForum Right

Forum Statistics:
Forum Members: 7,842
Total Threads: 18,821
Total Posts: 243,063
There are 199 users
currently browsing forums.
Forum LeftForum Right

Forum Sponsor:
Donate & Support Able Muse / Eratosphere
Forum LeftForum Right
Right Right
Right Bottom Left Right Bottom Right

Hosted by ApplauZ Online