“ARGHHHHHHHHHH”, the scream of frustration resounded in the air in C#.
Shruti Fraud nearly jumped out of the brain, or whatever part of the body she inhabited. “What’s wrong, Jax?”
Jax looked up, then looked around and finally realised ’twas nothing but the disembodied yet cynical voice of the Blogger Also Known as Shrutz.
He sighed and struck a dramatic pose, “Poetry is the soul of food, I have been told. Alas! If that be true, then I be starved, dear Shruti.”
Fraud looked confused “Soul of food? Surely, you durst not mean food of the soul?”
Jax blinked momentarily, “To the educated mind, ’tis all the same. Food, soul, poetry, what’s in a name?”
Fraud sat down and motioned Jax to do likewise. “I see your brow is lined with the furrows of worry. Is there something we ought to know?”
Jax sighed, “Yes, my friend, my heart verily doth weep. I wish to drown my sorrows in verse deep. My mind chafes at the smallest hint of pretentious prose. It serves only to make the situation worse. To wax lyrical, to the world about my innermost thought, surely that’s not asking for a lot? It’d work, as far as I can see, if I wasn’t stuck on line three. It was an idea absolutely divine, and so far, things were quite fine. Till I had to find a rhyme, (and I have been stuck on it for sometime) for a word as common as ‘Orange’, my dear Fraud.”
“What is this in aid of, Jax?”
Jax hemmed and hawed.. “Well, it’s poetry week on Blogger.”
(Small aside here: Yes, girls, Jax here is single, and ready to mingle!… Go on, ping him! Here’s his list.)
“I know it’s getting dangerously closer to that time of the year again, Jax. Now, into which girl’s shell-like ear do you wish to recite poetry into on February 14th? Don’t be scared, man. You know, Shruti Fraud is here to help you with ALL your problems!”
Jax heaved a huge sigh of relief. “Well, I am not really asking for too much. It’s just that I have become out of touch. So, Fraud, can you find it in your heart (or whatever part of the anatomy you inhabit.) to help a poor hapless soul like me, and publish a handy-dandy guide to poetry?”
“Done, Jax!”, said Shruti Fraud and proceeded to blog about poetry….
The Shruti Fraud Guide to Poetry. It’s As Easy As 1..2..3
- For starters, pick a topic to write about. WHAT? No, Ode to the Lint in my Pocket REALLY doesn’t work. Do you really think Wordsworth started out that way? Or Milton? Or Tennyson? Even Browning, Frost and Blake? Yes, we’re leaving Ogden Nash out of the picture. Okay, if you are so insistent that pocket lint is important to you, keep it. [Helpful Hint#1: It’s better if you can pick a topic that evokes a lot of pain. Pain is an excuse for you to do whatever you want in a poem and pass it off as “It still hurts to think about it.” Of course, don’t write about experiences at the dentist. Well, unless you ARE Ogden Nash.] Recommended topics include the eyes of your beloved, the rise and fall of the Roman empire, the view outside your window amongst others.
- Now that you have fixed on a topic, we need to fix on a suitable title. God! Will you PLEASE keep quiet about your pocket lint? Now, there are two ways in which you may name your poem. Either start off with (yes, yes) Ode to the… or Musings on.., Recollections of.., Sonnet to…, as applicable. For a difference, of course, you can title your poem with a single word. Examples of this would be Life, Egg, Flower (And… even Lint!.. Damn, you’re persistent.) [Helpful Hint#2: Either be short and sweet with the title, or be so discursive that people lose the track within 3 seconds. An example for the latter would be Random Musings on Penning a Sonnet to Ode to the Lint in my Pocket. Capsice?]
- Quick now! What emotions does your topic conjure up? Love? Anger? Hate? Awe? Or are you hungry after thinking so much? If nothing comes to mind, sorrow and pain might be a good idea. Just pinch your hand, squint your eyes and screw up your mouth. The tears will follow…. If you want to be happy, just think of my blog 😉 With the Ode to the Lint in my Pocket, you’ll need to feel the pain of the dhobi entrusted with the noble task of cleansing the garment from the iniquities of the lint. Be ONE with the dhobi (Now, now, Angel. Be good..) . Each rinse, each beating, every sudsy bucket of water needs to be experienced. This is a Zen-like state, achieved only by constant practice (and a few shots of booze/dope, I am told!)
- Congrats! You have got thus far. Now you are ready to write sheer poetry. But first…. A few deep breaths ought to prepare you. Yes.. That’s the way. Breathe in. Breathe Out. Repeat. Nod your head to the beat. Oh yeah! Oh yeah! Wave your hands in the air like you just don’t care. Be careful of the crystal, though. I would like you to care just for that. Okay, okay, wave your hands in the air like you only care for my crystal and NOTHING else! Done? Okay, now we’re on to poetry….
- Rhyming is simple, Rhyming is easy, It’s all in a day’s work for me! Rhyme and metre are all very well… so, here’s a crash course in the lingo the hep poets use ..
The concept of rhyme and its role in poetry vary considerably in different cultures. In modern English, and most European literary traditions, it is the final vowel/consonant combination found at the ends of lines that are repeated across the rhyming words. When words within a single line are rhymed, it is called an internal rhyme.
- tail rhyme (or end): a rhyme in the final syllable(s) of a verse (the most common kind)
- masculine: a rhyme in which the stress is on the final syllable of the words. (rhyme, sublime, crime)
- feminine: a rhyme in which the stress is on the penultimate (second from last) syllable of the words. (picky, tricky, sticky)
- dactylic: a rhyme in which the stress is on the antepenultimate (third from last) syllable (hesitant, president)
- triple: a rhyme in which all three syllables of a three-syllable word are stressed equally.
- perfect: a rhyme between words that are identical in sound from the point of their first accented syllable forward. (sight and flight, deign and gain and quatrain)
- imperfect: a rhyme between a stressed and an unstressed syllable. (den, siren)
- identity: a rhyme that starts at a consonant instead of a vowel, or rhyming a word with itself. (gun, begun)
- semirhyme: a rhyme with an extra syllable on one word. (bend, ending)
- oblique (or slant): a rhyme with an imperfect match in sound.
- sight (or eye): a similarity in spelling but not in sound. (cough, bough, or love, move)
Yeah. That’s what they say. I haven’t read what the above is yet. But, don’t be scared by the “aaaa”,”aabbcc..”,”abab..” schemes they throw in our face. Research has shown that it is just a giant conspiracy to scare all of us common folk away. Like the great Bart of A-one said, “A rhyme is a rhyme is rhyme, that which a rhyme be called by another name would stink to the high heavens.” Maybe I got it wrong here, so SUE me!
- If you had any sense, you’d have skipped the previous point. But, since you are still reading this blog, I have my doubts. Nevertheless, let me teach you lambkins how to pass a Fraud poem as yer own!
- The first line should introduce the subject of your poem in a dramatic way. It may also express your state of mind. Witness the selfsame Ottlimp (Ode to …. God, you ARE persistent). It can start start in many ways
- Alas! This lint in my pocket is irksome (Bad start. It’s very hard to rhyme the word with words that DON’T end in some and also, the whole premise of the poem has been short-circuited. Always remember, the poem has to have inner meaning, even if it just means you had indigestion that day, or in this case, you don’t brush your clothes off too often.)
- I wandered lonely as a cloud. (Famous way of starting. Sufficiently mysterious and safe enough to talk about anything…)
- My questing eyes, they fell upon the lint. (Again. quite satisfactory. But, more suspense might be created if your questing eyes sought many more objects till they alighted on the lint. But, never mind. This is, of course, your maiden effort.)
- A dramatic monologue will work out fine. A monologue is a poem in which one person (whose idea of good conversation is all about HIMSELF, proceeds to bore everyone else with rabid mutterings of, say, the lint in his pocket.) A monologue could start with That’s my favourite pair of pants… Things might steadily get downhill after that.
- A good way to grab attention is to address the readers, as Mark Antony found out. This is exemplified in lines like Fellow sufferers, humans, unshod masses, Unite.
- The most powerful first line might be. Lint. I HATE.
- To rhyme well requires great artistry/Believe me, it’s quite a rewarding hobby/ But, for you to rhyme as good as me/ With grammar, you may take some liberty/ The knowledge will not come free/You’ll need to pay Rs.1000/- by DD.
- I don’t know what Jax thought/When he asked me to write poetry/I don’t this is what he sought/In fact, he’s saying, “Oh dearie, me!”
- When you were here before/Couldn’t look you in the eye/You’re just like Angel/Your skin is too dry. [Hehe]
- pocket lint/looks like cumulus clouds/very fluffy.
- this haiku/will automatically self destruct/when you’re away [I know the format is NOT right… it’s just a joke to display my ignorance of the genre. Kindly excuse!]
Jax was bright-eyed. “Thanks, Shruti Fraud. You’ve saved the day, Now I will talk to the girl and hear what she has to say. I’d say that this might prove to be a cinch. I’ll be seeing you tomorrow with the wench.”
Thuh..thuh..That’s ALL, Folks!