I realized not too long ago that I’ve always wanted magnetic poetry. You know what I mean, don’t you? Those little white magnetic rectangles that have only one word on them, and you put them on your refrigerator (or locker or filing cabinet) and arrange and rearrange them to make poems.
I had played with these detached words on many a friend’s refrigerator and enjoyed the words for their own sake, and enjoyed the way they might (or might not) be enjoined with others, and enjoyed the effect that these enjoinments made together.
Good Verbal Fun.
I didn’t mention this interest to anyone, really, so I was surprised and pleased when I received a box of magnetic poetry for my birthday. But this was verbage with a twist: the words (most of them) are in the style of Shakespeare.
I still have the and, or, and the that our meaningful sentences rely on, but I also have Quite A Few other words that take some thinking to use. Words like methinks, and yon, thence, forswear, and mischance. These aren’t words in one’s contemporary, everyday parlance. These are words for a sonnet, or a couplet, or a soliloquy.
Don’t think for a minute that I’m disappointed. On the contrary, I’m delighted. Because these are words whose meaningful use will take Some Thinking, and it will be my pleasure to stand before my refrigerator and tried to find a use for hither, hadst and codpiece.
I opened the box for the first time the other night, and my first attempts, while short, were, I thought, not bad. Here they are:
Yield all to him
and question ne’er his grace.
I put these together in the span of maybe fifteen minutes. Neither of them are brilliant, both are a little somber, But Still. It was, I thought, a good first effort.
It was the next day, or maybe the day after, that yet another line of poetry appeared on the refrigerator. Clearly, Bill had discovered the box and spent some small time working on his own composition. Not so much going for deep meaning, I think, and a little more flexible than I in employing the limitations of pre-boxed language. Here is his offering:
Methinks drunkard haste dost oft tempt her do yon vile man.
It’s poetry, Reader. You can interpret that sentence Any Way You’d Like.