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Alex's poetry corner


Morty's was uncharacteristically staid last night. Alex was wearing a Tux, for one thing!

Gather round boys, and try to come up with some things ya may never have learnt,

back in yer book learnin' days. While ya may have thought that poems were poems

and novels were novels, the dirty little secret around literary circles is that novelists

sometimes "borrowed" quotatons from the better poets to use for book titles.

Some might call that plagerism - I wouldn't mind ya - but I did find five instances of

what others might call the sincerest form of flattery by some pretty well known blokes.

Places where poetry was shamelessly raided, just to find a catchy book title.

Here, take a look.

And he spread out the following poetry excerpts with the book titles asterisked out:

[1] Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord; /

He is trampling out the vintage where *** ****** ** ***** are stored

[2] *** **** *** ******* *****'s ignoble strife /

Their sober wishes never learned to stray

[3] How beauteous mankind is! O ***** *** ***** /

That has such people in't

[4] For fools rush in ***** ****** **** ** *****

[5] Had we but ***** ****** *** ****, /

This coyness, lady, were no crime

A cold pint to the bloke who can come up the names of the five poems, their poets,

the titles of the five novels [the asterisks] and their novelists.

Have fun!

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Wonderful! I love intertextuality.

Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck references the "Battle Hymn of the Republic", written by Julia Ward Howe, which in turn references the book of Revelations by John the Revelator.

Next is a tale of two Toms. Thomas Gray's poem "Elegy to a Country House" (I maybe didn't remember that title correctly) is the impetous for the title of Thomas Hardy's Far From the Madding Crowd.

Gimmie some SOMA! Huxley's A Brave New World is a nod to the Bard's Miranda in The Tempest. Great irony too if you have read Huxley and Tempest both and understand Miranda as a character.

To err is human, but it took Writersblock to forget who wrote Where Angles Fear to Tread - which is a book I've never read, but knew the title from school and knew that it nods to Alexander Pope's Essay On Criticism. Google told me it was E.M. Forester. Maybe this was cheating because I didn't know his name.

This gives away the title of the poem, which is Marvell's "To His Coy Mistress". The book title was a give away from the poem too (World Enough and Time). But I don't know who wrote it, so I googled again and found out it was Robert Penn Warren. I admit to knowing nothing about this book, but I love the poem - truly funny if you understand what it's getting at. Yes, I cheated again. But I guarantee I knew more about this off the top of my head than any two of the rest of ya! :lol:

That degree in English Lit finally came in handy!

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Just another little aside. I had a professor once claim that every piece of Western Literature known could be traced to the Bible or Greek Mythology through intertextuality.

Now THAT would be a great puzzle to solve! Kind of a Literary Six Degrees of Separation.

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Tip of the hat - and a frosty mug - to the Eng Lit major!

I think there's a next-level puzzle built into this.

Can't use it here, cuz the cat's already outta the bag ... but ... maybe somewhere else ...

wouldn't it be kewl to list the five poets and the five novelists and then ask

the solver to pair them up and say why/how the two are linked in each case.

Re: your 2nd post: One pair then could be Gene Roddenberry and Dylan Thomas ... excellent!

And your 3rd post: The final pair would be ... Zeus and Yaweh?

Get some sleep, WB.

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