Why I Like Cows, Poetry and Prose

[prose (not poetry)]

Why I Like Cows

Some fields have cows in them. Cows are interesting. Sometimes they stand and sometimes they lie in the grass. On one day you will see them on one side of the field and the next day, they might be on the other side. On some days the cows escape from the field. That is when cows are their most interesting.

Some cows have birds with them. These are not cow birds. Cow birds are different. They are really cattle egrets, but I like to call them cow birds, anyway. Cow birds are interesting, but not as interesting as cows. Cow birds are mostly interesting because they are with cows.

Fields are more interesting when they have cows in them. Birds are more interesting when they are with cows. Cows are cute and friendly. That is why I like them, and my middle name is Guernsey. That is why I really like cows.

Paul Guernsey Player, © 2018/09/29


[the exact same prose, with enjambments [1] and end stops [3] 
(not a smidge more poetry than the above)]

Why I Like Cows

Some fields have cows in them.
Cows are interesting.
Sometimes they stand and
sometimes they lie in the grass.
On one day you will see them
on one side of the field
and the next day, they might be
on the other side.
On some days the cows
escape from the field.
That is when cows are
their most interesting.

Some cows have birds with them.
These are not cow birds.
Cow birds are different.
They are really cattle egrets,
but I like to call them cow birds, anyway.
Cow birds are interesting,
but not as interesting as cows.
Cow birds are mostly interesting
because they are with cows.

Fields are more interesting
when they have cows in them.
Birds are more interesting
when they are with cows.
Cows are cute and friendly.
That is why I like them,
and my middle name is Guernsey.
That is why I really like cows.
Paul Guernsey Player, © 2018/09/29


2018-09.Why I Like Cows.post-it[blank verse]

[poetry (blank verse)]

Why I Like Cows

Some fields have cows within their border fence
and cows are interesting to watch. Sometimes
they stand and sometimes lie upon the grass.
On one day you will see them on the right
and on the next you’ll see them on the left.
And every now and then the cows get out.
On days like these you’ll find, when cows are out,
they’re really, really interesting – the most.

Sometimes you’ll see a cow, or two, or three
with lovely birds just standing by their sides.
These really are not cow birds, not the same.
By name they go by cattle egrets but
I like to call them cow birds, just the same.
The interesting thing about the cow
bird is that he is with a bunch of cows.

The fields themselves become more interesting
when they have cows in them, and birds become
more interesting when they are seen with cows.
Cows are cute and friendly, that is why
I like them, and my middle name is Guernsey,
which is why I really like the cow.
Paul Guernsey Player, © 2018/09/30


[1] enjambment – also called run-on, in prosody [2], the continuation of the sense of a phrase beyond the end of a line of verse. Compare end stop [3]. T.S. Eliot used enjambment in the opening lines of his poem The Waste Land:

April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.

[2] prosody – the study of all the elements of language that contribute toward acoustic and rhythmic effects, chiefly in poetry but also in prose. The term derived from an ancient Greek word that originally meant a song accompanied by music or the particular tone or accent given to an individual syllable. Greek and Latin literary critics generally regarded prosody as part of grammar; it concerned itself with the rules determining the length or shortness of a syllable, with syllabic quantity, and with how the various combinations of short and long syllables formed the metres (i.e., the rhythmic patterns) of Greek and Latin poetry. Prosody was the study of metre and its uses in lyric, epic, and dramatic verse…

…Prose as well as verse reveals the use of rhythm and sound effects. However, critics speak not of “the prosody of prose” but of prose rhythm. The English critic George Saintsbury wrote A History of English Prosody from the Twelfth Century to the Present (3 vol., 1906–10), which treats English poetry from its origins to the end of the 19th century, but he dealt with prose rhythm in an entirely separate work, A History of English Prose Rhythm (1912). Many prosodic elements such as the rhythmic repetition of consonants (alliteration) or of vowel sounds (assonance) occur in prose; the repetition of syntactical and grammatical patterns also generates rhythmic effect.

[3] end stop – (compare enjambment [1] ) in prosody [2], a grammatical pause at the end of a line of verse, as in these lines from Alexander Pope’s An Essay on Criticism:

A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring.
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.

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Null Reference

A slight bit less than nothing, just a space
where you could put a little something in.
You know just where to find it, if you just
had found the time to see it really was
a thing and set its address down right here.

I'm just a symbol of an object, not
the thing you want, itself, and if you ask
me for the thing before you told me where
it was, I'll throw you an exception hot,
which you had better be prepared to catch
or lacking that prepare to meet your Doom
and die a painful unexpected death.

Much better 'tis to wear a leather glove,
a catcher's mitt with which to soften blows,
or better yet to peek inside the orb
before you try to take a deadly sip
of nothing from inside. So much more comes
from nothing sipped when thirsting for the thing.
A thirst so great that it affects the mind,
and renders naught the seeker's very self.

© 2018, Paul Guernsey Player

Ode on a Cremation Urn

Elaborate wooden box or terracotta
jar, I carry cold the ashen dust 
remains of friend's now empty shell,
or father's or of mom's late shrinking frame,
the body that no longer carries forth
the flaming soul that was that loving friend.

An urn of spirit body is, that once 
bereft of kindling spark we burn and pour
the dust and ash into a box or jar
to later scatter to the wind or spread
upon the the sacred land that yields up life
and in returning down, does swallow all,
except the animating force, itself,
which to a newer vessel flows its reach.

 

by Paul Guernsey Player, © 2018/09/09


title borrowed from Ode on a Grecian Urn  By John Keats

roots entwine in bed

coating leaves with filthy soot
heavy cost to transport goods     [Ken G. / rivrvlogr]
dirty trees stand tall
friends tie rails with spikes of steel
roots entwine in bed          [© 2018, Paul Guernsey Player]

original hoku by © Shiki Carpe Diem Tan Renga Challenge September 2018 Chained Together III (7) grasses wilt