Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Poetry in Real Life

When I was working on my master's degree, I took a class in teaching poetry. Though I personally dislike poetry, I really loved this class. I think I liked it because I have never really gotten poetry. Little limericks are funny, but unless it rhymes and is clever, what's the point? Wouldn't it be easier to just say what you mean?

Forcing myself to figure out what it means, and finding a way to explain that to others made me appreciate poetry a little more.

One of the wonderful forms of poetry that I didn't know about before I took this class was the villanelle. From Wikipedia:

A villanelle is a poetic form which entered English-language poetry in the 1800s from the imitation of French models.[1] A villanelle has only two rhyme sounds. The first and third lines of the first stanza are rhyming refrains that alternate as the third line in each successive stanza and form a couplet at the close. A villanelle is nineteen lines long, consisting of five tercets and one concluding quatrain. [2]
That sounds complex and doesn't make any sense, right? Well, one of the very clever people in my class found this comic strip, which explains it in a lovely entertaining way. (It's by Cat and Girl, which is lovely and entertaining. Sometimes the link seems to go to a random page. So, I'm trying to put the strip in here. If you can't read it, go to Cat & Girl's archives and search for "sandwich" I believe it is called "sandwich are cheap.")

This is all a long way of saying that it warmed the cockles of my English Lit heart to hear that someone at Planet Money wrote a villanelle about the economy. Awesome.

No comments:

Post a Comment