Tuesday, November 18, 2008

In line with the recent musings on poetry and my intention to manifest that side of me more on this humble weblog, here is one of the eight line stanzas I wrote in recent months using the last line of some one else's stanza as the first of my own. Without further ado...

the world is lazy, we can take what we seek
the law of the jungle no friend of the meek
when ethics are slack the strong plunder the weak
in a variety of ways

optimistic football year
the source of many a tear
the Hawks more laughed at than feared
bring on 2009. [Written on 10/16/08]

Labels: , ,

Having written on the subject of poetry yesterday, I can now turn to this posting which was intended for then but now can be more adequately tended to in light of that writing. The following is a song from The Band on their second album circa 1969 -an album I reviewed here for those who are interested. I post it today as I have had my late father (may he rest in peace) in mind who was himself a union man for most of his working life. Without further ado...

King Harvest:

Corn in the fields.

Listen to the rice when the wind blows 'cross the water,
King Harvest has surely come.

I work for the union 'cause she's so good to me;
And I'm bound to come out on top,
That's where I should be.
I will hear ev'ry word the boss may say,
For he's the one who hands me down my pay.
Looks like this time I'm gonna get to stay,
I'm a union man, now, all the way.

The smell of the leaves,
From the magnolia trees in the meadow,
King Harvest has surely come.

Dry summer, then comes fall,
Which I depend on most of all.
Hey, rainmaker, can't you hear my call?
Please let these crops grow tall.
Long enough I've been up on skid row
And it's plain to see, I've nothin to show.
I'm glad to pay those union dues,
Just don't judge me by my shoes.

Scarecrow and a yellow moon,
And pretty soon a carnival on the edge of town,
King Harvest has surely come.

Last year, this time, wasn't no joke,
My whole barn went up in smoke.
My horse Jethro, well he went mad
And I can't remember things bein' so bad.
Then there comes a man with a paper and a pen
Tellin' us our hard times are about to end.
And then, if they don't give us what we like
He said, "men, that's when you gotta go on strike."

Corn in the fields.
Listen to the rice when the wind blows 'cross the water,
King Harvest has surely come. [J. R. Robertson]

Labels: ,

Sunday, November 16, 2008

On Poetry and Lyrics:
(Musings of your humble servant at Rerum Novarum)

It is customary to post some poetry and lyrics at times to this site as my mood to do so presents itself. However, the past year has seen next to none of that by my own admission -something I realized when doing a check on the matter when preparing to post some lyrical poetry today from The Band. That will now be postponed{1} as I muse a bit on this facet to my personality which like some others has seen scant if any mention on the weblog over the years.

I have so many sides to my being and poems and poetry (and the enjoyment of them) is one of them. However, this is a side of me that while I started to manifest it a bit on the weblog with the intention of further cultivation has nonetheless in recent years (for a variety of reasons) not happened. Last year was an exception to that pattern though -indeed, I was pleased in reviewing the archives to see that 2007 had a moderate degree of posts pertaining to poetry and lyric related matters{2}: more than any year since 2003.{3}

I did not realize this until I did a quick search of the archival tags for lyrics/poetry and lyrics/poetry/musings in preparing a lyrical post for publishing that this year had been so sparse in that area.{4} And when you omit one which has become a tradition at this weblog every year{5} that makes 2008 that much bleaker still not to mention every year since 2004.{6}

So something that started off solid and carried fairly decently into the second year of blogging really started tailing off in 2004 when the number of poetry and lyric postings fell to six, 2005 when it fell to five, and 2006 which likewise had five such postings. And when you consider that most of the forty-seven odd postings in these categorizations over the years have not been my own poetry{7}, that makes the matter even more interesting to ponder on the part of yours truly.

Now of course it is not necessary that such things be my own creation -I certainly do not possess this gift to the extent of many others by my own admission.{8} However, I have this year made a conscious effort to write more poetry -not only haikus but also some eight line rhyming stanza poems which is a new area for me. Indeed, I have written about two hundred haikus this year -many of which were in formats where I had to use someone else's last line as my first line which makes them a bit harder to whip out in traditional poetic haiku form (which I follow meticulously by the way) than if I do so completely on my own from scratch.{9}

As for why the poetry and lyrical postings have been less in recent years, I am sure to no small measure it was due to the election season of 2004 and various other factors in the subsequent years which were not helped by my noticeably greater focus on geopolitical subject matter since late 2003 on this humble weblog.{10}

But as was noted already, I have this year written a mess of haikus and even some stanza poetry of the sort I have not done in longer than I can remember. Many of this year's compositions will find their way onto the blog in the coming year at various intervals I am sure along with contributions from others in this area. But this is definitely an area I want to give renewed focus to for the duration of this year and into 2009 and beyond; ergo, I will do so.


For to explain this detracts from that posting so it will be put up in the coming days as I originally planned to do today before getting in the mood to muse on the subject of poetry in general as I have done here.

{2} There were eight such postings from 2007.

Numerically 2003 was the best year but by ratio, it was unquestionably 2002. For while there were ten such postings in all of 2003, there were eight in the last four months of 2002: the only months we were blogging that year.

{4} Thus far, there have been two such postings in 2008.

{5} I refer here to what has become the traditional Auld Lang Syne posting to start every year which debuted in January of 2004 and starting with January of 2005 has been posted to start every year since with the exception of 2006 when it was posted on New Years Eve 2005 due to extraordinary circumstances of the time. (Starting with 2007, the January pattern was resumed in this regard and this was carried through to the present year.) As is our wont, things start off at times as intuitions that we end up analyzing later on and this was no different. Ergo, in some expository musings posted on New Years Eve 2007, we explained how the original intuition had crystallized over the years in our mind to become more than a mere whimsical gesture but instead had far deeper meanings. For those who are interested, those musings can be viewed here.

{6} For while none of the eight from 2002 or ten from 2003 included this posting, all years starting with 2004 have. (And if this is taken to account, that makes the poetry/lyrics postings from those years even fewer than they already were -particularly 2005 which had two postings of this sort with the second being posted to ring in 2006 on New Years Eve that year.)

Of self-composed pieces there were two posted in 2002, one in 2004, one in 2005, and two in 2007.

{8} Such as Robert Frost (a favourite poet of mine), William Shakespeare,
AE Housman, and more contemporarily: my friend Albert Cipriani. (A few of whose poems have been blogged to this weblog over the years with I am sure more to come.)

The same using another person's first line approach was used with the eight line stanzas of which I have written about a dozen of them so far with the most recent one being composed today.

This was not the stark departure that many presumed but instead a return to the sort of postings to discussion boards I used to do both on the web and in other ways long before I wrote any web essays or involved myself so much in theological subject.The latter pattern from 2000-2003 being the novelty rather than the converse as I noted in late 2006 when my friend Apolonio expressed concern about it in a dialogue that I blogged to this weblog in September of 2006. (The correspondence was originally from November 2005 and slightly tweaked to make the response relevant to September 2006 when the material was eventually blogged.)

Labels: ,