Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Why doesn't it rhyme?

My current email signature contains the following:

Earth is crammed with Heaven.
And every bush aflame with God.
But only those who see take off their shoes--
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.
-Elizabeth Barrett Browning,
Aurora Leigh, book vii, 1857

Someone reponded to my email, critiquing Mrs Browning in jest, because her lines didin't rhyme. Here is my response. A fair warning: This is rather silly!
But it DOES rhyme, after the pattern of middle eastern poetry, anyway—which is a rhyming of ideas.
"Every bush aflame" rhymes with "Earth is crammed."
"With God" rhymes with "With Heaven."
"Only those who see" rhymes antithetically with "the rest."
"Take off their shoes," which implies worshipful kneeling, (which is what you do with a burning bush that's aflame with God, as did Moses) rhymes in contrast with "Sit around picking blackberries."
The rest have iPods, I guess.

Say! "iPod" rhymes with "God"!

Earth is crammed with heaven,
And every bush (except W) aflame with God,
While most folks sit around picking blackberries,
I kneel barefoot with my iPod!
NOW it rhymes! LOL!
Well, I warned you! Incidentally, I have neither blackberry nor iPod.

For your edification leading up to Holy Week… A werewolf story! No, really! It’s actually a nice allegory, once you get to the end. Clemence Housman’s oft-overlooked, “Werewolf,” 1896.

Listening to: The birds outside my office window

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