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Jest in Literature - Getting There  Gunjan Saraf
 Aug 12, 2002 23:24 PDT 
..........................................
JEST in LITERATURE
-----------------------------
12th August 2002    #     020
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IN THIS DIGEST   :

Getting There!!
                          ~ The Doc

Writing Prompt -
                         ~ The Doc

Poetry Corner
                         ~ The Doc

Inspiration Corner -
                          ~ The Doc

Winding Up Cartoons

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

----------------   MESSAGE   -----------------

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---------------------------------------------------------

====> Getting There !

Hi everyone. Possibly the key thing about this issue is that
we're almost old enough to drink. That should make this
whole process a lot easier, both for you and for me. This
is issue 20. I know some e-zines started drinking at eighteen,
but twenty-one is a key number when almost all age-restricted
activities do not apply any further, so I'm gleeful as that magic
number approaches.

Gunjan is often querying me about some poem or aspect of
poetry. I don't know the answers to all his questions, but it
does get me to thinking about how to make poetry accessible.
Sadly, when we learn to do something, and then do it for a
while, we sort of forget the processes and discoveries that got
us there. That makes it hard to guide someone else. Also, the
things that triggered us into certain areas of discovery may not
be what will trigger another person. With all that triggering,
you start thinking about Roy Rogers and the whole thing pretty
much goes to hell anyway. (While Roy was a nice guy - and I
mean that because I knew him a bit - his idea of poetry was
"Happy Trails to you..." We tolerated his opinion because he
was a pretty good bowler.)

I have been paying attention to some of the methods that I use
when I'm confronted with a poem I have never read before,
and I've come up with a couple of things I do that might help
someone else. I've also been thinking that perhaps if I started
it, some of you might have some suggestions on methods to
approach a poem. If I start this, maybe some of you will send
along a suggestion or two. Then I'll compile them, put them
into a book, sell it, and take off to Tahiti where you'll not be
able to track me down for residuals. But, that aside, if I show
you mine, I hope you'll show me yours.

Many poems take a clue from one of the devices in sonnetry.
That is the use of a turning point. When I first read a poem,
if it is not obviously a sonnet, but does seem to pose some
questions in the opening lines, then I look for the turning
point where the author begins to answers the questions posed
in the earlier part of the poem.

The turning point in a sonnet is called the "volte." That's a French
word that means "turn around" or "about face." You can usually
tell where the volte occurs because the questions stop and the
answer begins. Here's an example that shows this pretty plainly.
It was written by William Wordsworth:

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.--Great God! I'd rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

I chose this poem because it does not specifically
show the questions that the author is asking, but it
does present a situation that he questions and to
which he responds. His implied question is what
kind of world are we creating for ourselves? (By
the way, Wordsworth was the eldest of the
Romantic poets who were faced with the onset
of industrialization.) His answer begins with the
obvious volte which includes the exclamation point.
(Basically, and quickly, he believes we have sold
our souls for the machine.)

Well, next time you bump into a new poem, and if
you are having trouble getting it open, try this little
trick out and see if it helps. If it does, say "thanks."
If it doesn't, I had nothing to do with this.

Comments or Questions :
mailto:li-@workinghumor.com?Subject=GettingThere

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Do you like to see those FUNNY, RAUNCHY &
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

==> Writing Prompt -

Writing prompt:

"I have always felt sorry for people afraid of feeling,
of sentimentality, who are unable to weep with their
whole heart. Because those who do not know how
to weep do not know how to laugh either."

The point of this quote seems to be that balance is
necessary in one's life, even in matters of happiness
and sadness. That harkens to the belief that one
cannot truly know sadness unless he has been happy.
We don't miss what we've never had, or at least
we only miss it to the extent that we've experienced
its opposite or counterpart, as the case may be.

But, there is a trepidation about emotions expressed
by the following quote:

"Man could not live if he were entirely impervious to
sadness. Many sorrows can be endured only by being
embraced, and the pleasure taken in them naturally has
a somewhat melancholy character. So, melancholy is
morbid only when it occupies too much place in life;
but it is equally morbid for it to be wholly excluded
from life."

It is true that some people do seem to tend toward
melancholy a bit too strongly, and that becomes their
nature. It is also possible that some other people have
the cause for sadness visited upon them more often
than others. Or is that a perception held only by the
beholder and developed by that perceiver's basic
nature?

Is the cause for sadness imbedded in the nature of
the event, or in the nature of the person affected by it?

Comments or Questions :
mailto:li-@workinghumor.com?Subject=Writing_Prompt

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

===> Poetry Corner

This week we take up poetry for the one-word prompt
BETRAYAL.

What follow are some of the poetry submissions from the
prompt two weeks ago. I am still waiting for one or two
other submissions that I know are being prepared and
sweated over on this topic. (This is a hint to this ezine's
significant other, Gunjan.)

Betrayal is one of the acts that will elicit ultimate emotion
in our lifetime. From outrageous anger to fear to loathing to
deceit, if you have ever been betrayed, then the word alone
can conjure up emotions you thought you had worked
through. Betrayal is one of the biggies when it comes to
human interaction.

Betrayal

With reverence received
A hurt to hinder, pay homage
To the betrayal, the betrayed now
No confidence ever shared
The blight of disclosure
Forever recalled, forever to abide.

Lanis

(Bow to your dragons. But, one betrayal forever corrupts
a relationship. I agree, and it is put so nicely here.)

Betrayal

Mirror mirror oh mirror mine,
remember your task is to make me look fine.
but of late when I study the view you provide,
Truth is truth, and cannot be denied
the vision you show me belies my true face
omitting my internal beauty and grace.

The problem is simple, it's YOU who are old...
Who'll buy my old mirror? Two bucks? Okay, SOLD

Lane

(Oh, yeah. This is good stuff. Reminiscent of Sylvia Plath's
"Mirror" in a way where an old fish rises up to greet the
viewer. Again, I agree. If the mirror isn't showing you the
image you want, sell that sucker. Hell, give it away.
Thanks, Lane.)

Betrayal

I stayed too long in a marriage with a man not in love with me.
Oh sure, I should have left after his affair in year five, but, no,
I forgave him, held my head high and carried on.
That's what is expected, isn't it?

After all, those vows to which I swore before God, pledged:
"For better or worse, in sickness and health."
Those powerful words gave me strength to carry on
And, no quitter am I.

Besides, there were the children,
Teenage girls, already abandoned in a previous life.
I couldn't leave them now
They were my cause, my task of love.

And then there was his sickness.
How do you hold someone accountable who is sick?
He was dying; I was needed,
It is my nature to be strong.

In his desperation he reached out, but not for me.
I saw his grasp affixed tightly to someone else.
His lifeline tethered by my nursing and her arms of shelter.
Only the waves at the seashore heard my piercing cries.

I valiantly substituted a lover, travel, books, career, but
Nothing filled the void.
My life had become shallow, always prowling for affection,
Always longing for connection.

Declaring himself guilty, he finally left.
I did not beg him to stay.
Betrayal is a strange thing, certainly he betrayed me, but now
I must forgive myself, the one I betrayed the most.

Darling 2002

(Poetry is the place where it is almost impossible to be dishonest.
It certainly would make things easier if we could. Thanks, Darling.)


This weeks single-word prompt is DECISION. Last weeks prompt
was FEAR, and you still have time to submit your work on that one
if you like. Thanks to all of you who are submitting. Some of you are
asking for a private instead of public response. I'm happy to do that,
but there is really no fear of this open publishing.

Actually, as I think about it, if you want to submit on any of the previous
topics, feel free to do that, too.

Poetic Submissions For Decision
mailto:li-@workinghumor.com?Subject=Decision

Poetic Submissions For Fear
mailto:li-@workinghumor.com?Subject=Fear

Comments -
mailto:li-@workinghumor.com?Subject=PoetryCorner

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==========**********O**********==========

==> Inspiration Corner

(I don't care what this inspires, I enjoy almost everything
George Carlin does.)

Take Idaho's license plates - they say 'Famous Potatoes.'
Then there's New Hampshire - theirs say 'Live Free or DIE!!'
I don't know, but somewhere between 'Famous Potatoes'
and 'Live Free or Die' the truth lies. I think it's closer to
'Famous Potatoes'.
[Gunjan's two bit - "The truth lies" ?? Now that's really deep, Doc!!]

Percentage of cat owners who say they confide in their cats
about important matters: 57% (Harper's)

( I don't know what's up with this cat thing, but I keep running
into these stats about them so I'm passing them on as if they
contain a message for someone out there.)

He (Franklin D. Roosevelt) taught us that our destiny forever is
linked to the destiny of the world, that our freedom requires
us to support freedom for all others, that humanity's cause
must be America's cause.

(When I first saw this, I read it the other way around and
thought that America had found a new and embarrassing
method of displaying a new level of arrogance. I was wrong.
But, it was close. Too close.)

Comments or Questions :
mailto:li-@workinghumor.com?Subject=Inspiration

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Poundstone, Kevin Meany, Rob Schneider, and Dana Carvey.]

==========**********O**********==========

===> Winding up Cartoons




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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Thanks
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Gunjan
gun-@workinghumor.com
	
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