Poetry Friday: January 10, 2020

It’s Poetry Friday!

Mamacita says: I always ask my students for a show of hands: Who hates poetry? Hands go up all over the room, because our students are not taught about poetry; they are subjected to it, and selections from the lowest bidders at that.

I haven’t done my duty by Poetry Friday for a while, but I intend to rectify that, starting today. Or tonight, as the case may be.

Poetry is music, my dears. You hate poetry? You have no favorite songs, then? Take away the melodies and what’s left? That’s right. A poem. Now let me ask again: Who hates poetry? Put your hands down, you bunch of liars.

Robert Frost (the laureate who recited at President Kennedy’s inaugaration) was once asked how he thought the world might end. He thought long and hard about this, and came up with two ways, both absolutely viable.

Fire and Ice, by Robert Frost

Some say the world will end in fire,

Some say in ice.

From what I’ve tasted of desire

I hold with those who favor fire.

But if it had to perish twice,

I think I know enough of hate

To say that for destruction ice

Is also great

And would suffice.

In many cultures, what we refer to as “Hell” isn’t hot; it’s cold. This makes perfect sense to me.

Think about it.

This one hasn’t been set to music, but it’s still considered a lyric.

The ancient Greeks revered poetry so much that three of the nine Muses are in charge of most of the poetry, but the other Muses dip their hand into a lyric or two whenever it suits them. The Greeks were smart; they knew that poetry makes the world go round, and that even the sciences were part of the poetry of the universe. More on the Muses later.


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