Thursday, May 25, 2006

Free us from torpid heaviness


I followed Shandi's lead and clicked on Blogger's "Next Blog" button at the top of the page. The first thing that struck me while randomly skimming through the flotsam of the blogosphere was that poetry is a dangerous tool when placed in the hands of the masses. Though to be honest, I'm not a big poetry fan even if it is written by people with talent.

The title of this post comes from a blog dedicated to the author's spiritual poetry. I will not link to the site. I will not make fun of the author because I am sure he means well and is simply expressing himself. But I will say that "torpid heaviness" is not a phrase I have encountered before. Nor is it a phrase I would consider using in a poem, especially about spirituality. It is a lugubrious term best used in a Russian novel to describe the mating of sloths (i.e. Their torpid heaviness collided in a slow motion passionate embrace seeped with woeful longing of sloths kept apart far too long by an oppresive regime).

I say this in an attempt to be kind to people who write with a thesaurus in hand searching for just the right word to impress. Please put that mutant puppy of a reference book in a bag and toss it off the nearest bridge. Don't use words that you either don't know or don't use on a reasonably regular basis. Don't get me wrong. It is okay to increase your vocabulary. But just put words in your basket that you understand and really can use.

And if you must write either spiritual prose or poetry, please do not use a lot of "thee's" and "thou's" because you think that is the way the people wrtten about in the Bible spoke. The King Jame's version of the Bible was translated using the venacular of King Jame's time (I believe in the 1400s or thereabouts). They used lots of "thee's" and "thou's." I assure you Jesus did not. He didn't speak English. So if you really want to write Christian spiritual poetry (and I don't recommend it), you might want to talk to Mel Gibson and find out how to speak some of the dead Arabic languages.

And if you are wondering what the photo of a doll with my face on it has to do with any of this, the answer is, "nothing." I just wanted to freak out any newbie surfing into my blog using the "Next Blog" button. That will teach them.
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