Thursday, October 24, 2019

Of all the hue and cry

Hue and Cry
Extra Pound released a sigh,
but kept the others closely nigh,
For use
When use-
ful is of all, of all a hue and cry.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Harold Bloom returns

Harold Bloom died Monday, at 89, still inveighing against his enemies:
[Those whom] he called the "School of Resentment" -- critics and scholars he had previously described, in a 1991 Paris Review interview, as "displaced social workers" and "a rabblement of lemmings." (Dwight Garner, "A literary colossus," NYT, October 17, 2019)
I especially like the "displaced social workers" -- for I've long longed for the right expression (I've used "sociologists"), so I'm glad someone has already been there, and left planted there a sign for the ill-adversed . . .

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Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Post-Natal

Learning to Stand
Extra Pound looked about and around,
Fine-tuning his gimlet eye so sound
That Imagist,
Or Behaviorist,
Pound was there to stand his ground.

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Monday, October 21, 2019

Post Title - Why?

Gnomic Monstrosity
Against the lowly Metro-Gnome
Ol' Extra Pound inveighed: "That 'dome'
Must go,
As I say so,
For never shall ever a hunchback call our own Cathedral home."

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Sunday, October 20, 2019

A Lighter Sense of Fun

Extra Pound Expounds Around
In the abstract, he wished to ex-pound
To all of those gathered around,
But in the tub did he wish to ex-sponge
All that grit, grease, grime, growth, and grunge,
'Cause he hated his voice for its sound.

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Saturday, October 19, 2019

Some Finer Things of Life

Pound Cake
Whence cometh the cake known as "pound" cake?
Why, one poundeth till it maketh joints ache!
But young Extra Pound
Loved that texture so sound
That each morn did his night fast thus break.

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Friday, October 18, 2019

Sur Loin?

Decent Men
There was a young man called Sir Pound,
Who claimed to descend from Sir Frowned,
But it really don't matter,
He was mad as a hatter,
Except when he wasn't, the old hound.

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Thursday, October 17, 2019

Ungulates of the Arctic

Frosty Whether
"Perhaps," I mused, "it was my fate,
Born an arctic ungulate.
To tread on ice
Is cold, but nice,
And I think not to perish twice, at any rate."

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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Junk Yard

Junkyard for Spare Parts of Extra Pound Words:

Except: Extra Pound Age

Except: Expect Extra Poundage

Excerpt: Expert Poundage

Accept: Anything, it's a slow day . . .

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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Freedom!

Libertarian Player
With wild abandon bounded free,
The Extra Pound in liberty
Spun forth the shot we all call free,
Thrown through the hoop with liberty . . .

There's more to this versification than might be seen by those who already know too much about basketball.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Extra, Extra, Read All About It!

Extra Pound Around
There once was a cubical Pound
Whose rolling rolled smoother than sound,
And he rolled as he 'goed,'
Up the Ventura Road,
But that gator lizard never, ever found.

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Sunday, October 13, 2019

Not Quite a Limerick

Extra Pound Enters
Trousers he wore of billiard cloth green,
Coat so pink as nearly to scream,
Shirt of blood-blue, a hand-painted tie,
And a promise to meet in the Great Bye-and-Bye.

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Saturday, October 12, 2019

Professional Slip-Up

Clowning Around
Of moral essay versified,
I could almost take in stride
The Kipling point,
Which they'd anoint,
On which I'd slip before I died.

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Friday, October 11, 2019

Milton’s Preconditions for Freedom

This 'essay' appeared recently in the Ewha Voice

Milton’s Preconditions for Freedom

Ewha Voice

Professor's Column

Horace Jeffery Hodges

I sometimes wonder if people still believe in free speech. It is often attacked these days as an unnecessary concession to political adversaries when one has power over them. Or such freedom is cynically defended when one is out of power. On the positive importance of free speech, I can do no better than borrow John Milton’s earnest defense of the preconditions to free expression in his essay Areopagitica, which presupposes a morally 'fallen' world in which good and evil are mixed and must be unmixed through experiencing both:

It was from out the rinde of one apple tasted, that the knowledge of good and evill as two twins cleaving together leapt forth into the World. And perhaps this is that doom which Adam fell into of knowing good and evill, that is to say of knowing good by evill. As therefore the state of man now is; what wisdome can there be to choose, what continence to forbeare without the knowledge of evill? He that can apprehend and consider vice with all her baits and seeming pleasures, and yet abstain, and yet distinguish, and yet prefer that which is truly better, he is the true wayfaring Christian. I cannot praise a fugitive and cloister’d vertue, unexercis'd & unbreath'd, that never sallies out and sees her adversary, but slinks out of the race, where that immortall garland is to be run for, not without dust and heat. Assuredly we bring not innocence into the world, we bring impurity much rather: that which purifies us is triall, and triall is by what is contrary. That vertue therefore which is but a youngling in the contemplation of evill, and knows not the utmost that vice promises to her followers, and rejects it, is but a blank vertue, not a pure one.

Perhaps this Early Modern English passage requires 'translation' into Modern English:

It was from out of the skin of one apple tasted that the knowledge of good and evil as twins clinging together leapt forth into the world. And perhaps this is that judgment that Adam fell into of knowing good and evil, that is to say, of knowing good by evil. The state of humankind is now this: what wisdom can there be to choose, what restraint to maintain, without the knowledge of evil? He who can apprehend and consider vice with all her baits and seeming pleasures, and yet abstain, and yet distinguish, and yet prefer that which is truly better, that one is the true wayfaring Christian. I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies forth to face her adversary, but slinks out of the hot, dusty race for which that immortal garland is run. Certainly, we bring not innocence into the world; rather, we bring much impurity. That which purifies us is trial, and trial is by what is contrary. The virtue that is therefore a mere youth in contemplating evil, and does not know the utmost that vice promises her followers, and rejects it, is only a blank virtue, not a pure virtue.

Milton borrows heavily from the Genesis temptation story to describe our existential circumstances in a post-Genesis world, where we come to know good by knowing evil. And this, says Milton, is our judgment. We judge and are judged by means of the same judgment: our own. Without freedom, we would be mere mechanisms. We ourselves do not esteem forced obedience: neither does God. Providence therefore left mankind free. Or so thinks Milton, and he has been very influential on this point.

If mankind has free will, but nobody has a monopoly on truth – and Milton affirms these – then one can reasonably infer that we should be free to act in accordance with political freedom: namely, to speak freely. Do we have this right? That is a topic for another essay.

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Thursday, October 10, 2019

Post-Postness

Nantucket
Is there really a place called Nantucket,
Where limericks go kick the bucket?
Or is it all tricks,
No permanent fix?
If only I . . . ah, just go f**k it.

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Another Take - Yeah

Utopia Revisited
There was a young man going Nowhere
And going as fast as he dare,
But fuel-less is here now in Now Here
And stuck here now many a year,
While longing for home in Nowhere.

I do try to remember to tell any readers when I've reworked a poem. I've reworked this one above. I'm just not sure it's a limerick anymore.

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Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Another Take . . . Nah

Utopia
There once was a man going Nowhere,
And going as fast as he dare,
But he fueled up in Now Here,
And there stayed year on year,
In longing so long as he dare!

This got jumbled with another limerick,  and I don't recall the original, so here above is what it's come up to as a result.

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Monday, October 07, 2019

Time Flies

From Wikipedia, I see that the real Ezra Pound was not much different from his alter ego, Extra Pound.

On a fellowship at Penn in 1907, Ezra Pound attended lectures in the English Department, where he soon alienated Felix Schelling, the department head. He would wind an enormous tin watch very slowly while Schelling lectured on Shakespeare. Schelling told him that he was wasting everyone's time and did not renew the fellowship.

I thought that was a rather clever comeback by Schelling, that pun on wasted time, assuming the accuracy of the Wikipedia entry on Pound.

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Sunday, October 06, 2019

Again, Again

I had some second thoughts about the wording of this poem a couple of blogspots ago, so here's what I came up with for changes:
How I Began
I resolved by age thirty to know more
About poetry than Paul Elmer More!
Not only in English,
But in every Unglish,
I'd threaten to even the score.

The speaker, by the way, is "Extra Pound."

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Saturday, October 05, 2019

Dawn Dance

Little Bit Extra
There once was a man they called Extra
With a girl who sang next tra,
la, la, and they busked in the street,
Just to make their ends meet,
And maybe have a little bit Extra.

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Friday, October 04, 2019

Beginnings, Beginnings

"How I Began"
I resolved that by thirty I'd know more
About poetry than did Paul Elmer More!
Not only in English,
But in every Unglish,
I'd threaten to even the score.

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Thursday, October 03, 2019

Post-Structuralism, Post-Modernism, Post-Toasties...

Post-Postlimericks
Post this please, just not to anybody.
Post this please, just not to manybody.
Not to someone,
Nor to noneone.
Post this please, just not to nonebody.

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Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Finally, a Blogpost Heading

Appearance as Being
Once was a man called "Confound-it,"
But his friends misheard this as "Khunt-Found-Tit,"
So they called him "Confusion"
To waylay some "fusion,"
But it all came to naught, God confound it!

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Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Be careful not to step too far into the English Lounge . . .

Not a Limerick! Just some off-the-wall humor. The English Lounge in ECC B235 has this sign on the wall:

"Magazines and newspapers may be read only just inside the English Lounge."

Think about that for a while . . .

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