Thursday, May 07, 2020

Sometimes I feel like

Emily Dickinson "This is my letter to the world, that never wrote to me" - just that line (or actually two lines).

Some 52 years ago, (that would have been around 1968) when I was young and starry eyed, I took a poetry workshop course at what was then known as The New School for Social Research (which later became The New School University and is currently The New School - an establishment from which I received my BA in 1982).

The course was taught/presented by Jose Garcia Villa. He was a famous poet, which I actually did not know at the time. One of the first poems I presented in class was roundly derided and criticized by my fellow 20-somethings as sounding like Emily Dickinson. Quite frankly I did not see that as a bad thing but they did.  I had only recently discovered Miss Dickinson and I was deeply enamoured of her work but that particular poem had been written before she and I had met (so to speak).

The cool thing was Mr. Villa liked the poem! He said it was musical. If fuzzy memory serves me, he liked most, or part, of all the poems I presented in class because they were musical. (I think he was in a musical phase at the time).

He said his favorite poem was -

Butterfly
Flutterby
You'd better fly


I'm not too sure what to make of that. Nor do I know if he wrote it, or someone else. Doesn't matter, it has stuck in my head all these years. Indeed one of my alter egos is Margo Flutterby - it's musical!

Which just all turns back to my stubborn insistence that poetry must be musical else it is prose. Afterall isn't what differentiates poetry from prose is the rhythm and meter? And isn't music rhythm and meter? Hence, poetry must be musical.

You can rhyme or not rhyme but you must sing.

(NOTE: this started out to be about my lack of social interactions and then off it went to something else. Another example of ping-pong brain, squirrel brain, pinball brain - call it what you will.)

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