Friday, December 29, 2017

Lawrence Durrell: is this poetry?

Two young men are talking.  One is Walsh, the main character of Lawrence Durrell's Pied Piper of Lovers and the other is a close friend.



"'Why,' said Walsh, turning his head, 'do you talk such a lot of rubbish?'

Gordon's eyes widened and he laughed silently, very merrily.  Then he explained, quite seriously.
'Partly because words are such lovely things.   The more you learn the more pity you feel for the ones that aren't used, and you get into the habit of using them, until what you say doesn't matter so much as how you say it.'"

-- Lawrence Durrell --
Pied Piper of Lovers 


what you say doesn't matter so much as how you say it.

Would it be a surprise to learn that Lawrence Durrell was also a poet?

15 comments:

  1. I’m reminded of “Jabberocky” by Lewis Carroll. Perhaps that is a sensible way of thinking about Durrell’s point.

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    1. R.T., Jabberwocky is one to think about. Some times I wonder if Dickinson is paying more attention to the sound of words than the sense.

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  2. I think that the words you use are vital if you're trying to get across information. If you just want to make pretty noises I guess you can use whatever sounds best.

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    1. CyberKitten, That's true. But, sometimes I get the feeling that the poet has substituted a word that sounds better for one that would make more sense.

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  3. lots of words can be ambiguous, depending upon how they're used; and sound is a primary motivator... one of the poetical attractions is the soft murmuring; like music, which can imitate almost any human emotion and seems a good substitute for words in some circumstances...

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    1. Mudpuddle,

      "I know who owns these woods." It's informative, straightforward, and clear. But it's flat, probably forgotten a few minutes later.

      "Whose woods these are I think I know."
      This has remained in memory for decades. I wonder what the difference is.

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    2. Both iambic but one with three feet and another with four feet .... each with different syntax and subject-verb emphases....changes in subjects...etc...etc...etc...

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    3. yes, that's true, RT, but how many toes??? hahaha... sorry....

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    4. R.T., So, you don't see any difference between the two versions?

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    5. Yes, I read them differently. One is conversational prose. The other is more formal with its attention-getting syntax (i.e., poetry). But I’m still counting the toes.

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    6. R.T., Toes are important.

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  4. Fred et al....
    I had a complete meltdown with Blogger and had to reinvent with new address.
    I’ll resume blogging soon.
    Here is the new site. It’s empty but exists.
    I hope you will forgive the meltdown accident and resume your visits.
    Best wishes....
    R.T. (Tim)

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    1. R.T., will drop in on you as soon as I get an address. Meltdowns do happen.

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    2. No content yet at ....
      https://inquiriesinformal.blogspot.com/

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    3. Fred, Happy New Year,
      I invite your feedback.
      https://inquiriesinformal.blogspot.com/2017/12/walt-whitman-civil-war-and-2018.html

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