Sunday, April 11, 2004

Poem - Definition #2


2. Any composition in verse rather than in prose.

Compare that to Definition 1 - it seems as though this definition widens the parameters of the word "poem" to include such things as greeting card jingles, naughty limericks, verses of the Bible and the speeches of Sir Winston Churchill.
Q: What's a "verse"?
A: Most simply, a line or section of a poem.
So by this definition, this Psalm (which was my father's favorite verse from the Bible) is a poem:
Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me
in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

And per this definition, this would also be a poem:
Nicht be finger-pokin
in der machine-vurkin.

(posted on the access cover of a Xerox machine).

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