Thursday, February 02, 2006

Poetry Secret

Here is an irreverent tidbit for today. Last night, friends en route from San Francisco, made it here to El Paso. Both are very creative and witty and both worked at the Harry Ransom Center (HRC) for many years. Indeed, if I could pick their brains from beginning to end I would end up with an Auntie Mame-like memoir about all the stories surrounding the decoding and organizing of ephemeral bits and pieces of many great and not so great writers.

After a great supper at the L & J, I told them I was in an editing course given by Dr. Brunk. I said we had to decipher one of Emily Dickinson's poems from an archived online facsimile and that we worked in groups and alone to do this.

One of our friends immediately brightened up and said what she was about to tell me would make me the hit of the class. Well, I can't make there today as The Judge is sick with an ear and sinus infection. In fact, we just got back from the doctor's office. So, I'll tell you the secret of Emily Dickinson's poetry:

Every poem can be sung to the tune from both Gilligan's Island and The Yellow Rose of Texas.

Believe it or not, it is true. I sang the first line of the following and cracked up while they all gleefully giggled at me. She then added that she used to tell HRC grad student worker bees about this phenomenon and then leave the room. A while later she would return to see the Dickinson Archive up on their screens.

The bee is not afraid of me.
I know the Butterfly.
The pretty people in the woods
Receive me cordially.

The Brooks laugh louder when I come
The Breezes madder play
Wherefore, mine eyes, thy silver mists
Wherefore, O summer's day?

Try it, it will make you laugh.

1 comment:

cindy hotpoint said...

I like how if you're singing this to "The Yellow Rose of Texas" 'cordially' comes out 'cor-dill-eye' to get it to rhyme with butterfly and fit the rhythm! Heh.

Sometimes you need to get away from it all.

And sometimes, it's time to return and be part of the larger world.  Between the first of 2023 and February 14, I painted many watercolo...