Sound Check

Today:  exhausted in myriad ways.  Regardless, I must push on.  Depending on when Miss Maya decides to make her grand appearance, I have only 10 – 13 weeks of uninterrupted free time.  Need to get into a solid groove now. 

Sound check today.  Read your prose aloud and see if it flows.  I did.  What I read wasn’t all that flow-y, so I plugged away through the next exercise.  Renovated one paragraph.  Piece of cake, right?  Nope.  You’re supposed to take your time with it– as in hours– and aim for sound (as well as follow the basic rules of grammar, avoid exhausted adjectives and adverbs, and shun echoes and alliteration). 

Does my revamped paragraph now sing?  I don’t know.  Example:  I turned “tales about a stone path hidden in the hollow” into “tales of a cobbled path obscured by steroidal ferns.”  Better description?  Quality sound?  Or just wordy?  I dropped another sentence altogether and shifted the language in the next, which did make a difference in the flow of the paragraph.   

It’s a learning process.  All I can do is practice, play with words, and spill it out to the best of my ability. 

On side note, I’m also supposed to read poetry to develop an ear for language that slides off the tongue.  Poetry?  No problem.  I can dig out my copy of Where the Sidewalk Endsby Shel Silverstein.  “Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me Too” and “Hungry Mungry” could probably teach me a thing or two.  Then again, maybe I should save that for bedtime with Maya and search out something more grown-up. 

A lovely bit from Whitman: 

…Hark close and still what I now whisper to you/I love you, O you entirely possess me/O that you and I escape from the rest and go utterly off, free and lawless/Two hawks in the air, two fishes swimming in the sea not more lawless than we/The furious storm through me careering, I passionately trembling/The oath of the inseparableness of two together, of the woman  that loves me and whom I love more than my life, that oath swearing/O I willingly stake all for you/O let me be lost if it must be so!/O you and I! what is it to us what the rest do or think?/What is all else to us? only that we enjoy each other and exhaust each other if it must be so…

However, I’ve heard a rumor that truly magnificent poetry has roots in the Middle-East, but I have no clue where to begin.  Arabic poetry maybe?  Does anyone know the best place to start? 

Even song lyrics can be poetry.  Take for instance the following lyrics in the song Jai Ho (entire translation here): 

Iota by iota, I have lost my life, in faith/I’ve passed this night dancing on coals/I blew away the sleep that was in my eyes/I counted the stars till my finger burned

Makes my prose sound like preschool rhymes.

C’est la vie.


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