Dr. Seuss

21 01 2009

Liesl and I were discussing the poem, “Praise Song for the Day,” read during yesterday’s inauguration by its author, Elizabeth Alexander. I won’t call it a good poem or bad poem, maybe just an unusual poem. Here’s a funny snippet of our conversation.

Me: I’m just not a big fan of freeform poetry to begin with.

Liesl: Uh-huh.

Me: I mean, if Dr. Seuss could make all of his poems rhyme, so can anyone.

Liesl: Yeah, but Dr. Seuss made up words.

Me: Oh.

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7 responses

21 01 2009
Jenn

I share your opinions too,
Though people rarely think
To rhyme the way dear Suess would do
Of chairs and kitchen sinks
But years of English schooling shows
Though I might not agree
Writers can be right, sans prose…
With fufubockery.

~J

21 01 2009
Jenn

Yeah, I was soooooo clever, and misspelled Dr. Seuss.

Gah!

22 01 2009
Janna

Um… hello? I write in free verse. You seem to like my poetry… or were you just lying so you wouldn’t hurt my feelings?

22 01 2009
Rob in Gallup

Janna, Janna. Part of the problem is that I am not a poet, so it’s really hard for me to critique poetry well. There is just some poetry that I like and some that I don’t like, and most of what I don’t like tends to be free verse. As with anything, there are exceptions. Kind of like how I hate chick flicks but love Fried Green Tomatoes.

Your poems I like because they make sense to me on an artistic level. They make me feel something with which I can identify, and they seem well crafted to my limited poetry knowledge. My only reaction to the inauguration poem was to scratch my head and say, “Hm.”

I really don’t mean that all poems should read like Dr. Seuss. But yes, it is true that most of my favorite poems (the vast majority of which are over a century old, at least) do, in fact, rhyme.

22 01 2009
Mom2

The poem, “Praise Song for the Day”
Did not touch me in any way
It’s just not my style
Would not keep it filed
But just why I really can’t say

I agree with you, Rob. There are many different kinds of poetry I enjoy, but most have rhyme and most certainly meter involved. One exception is Haiku. Maybe because it speaks to my reflective side.

Infants like rhymed verse
It pleases their tiny ears
There language is learned

23 01 2009
pennepasta

If President Obama had had access to Mom2 and Jenn as poets, he would never have chosen either–too accomplished, too full of meaning…… Not really his cup of tea, as far as I can tell from the campaign and the first three days. The chosen poet fit perfectly with the inauguration: flat, obscure, uninteresting….cold.

23 01 2009
Sharon

That’s why I won’t play Scrabble with Patrick.

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