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(wc 810)

My Gentle Readers, I ask your kind forbearance.  Please forgive me for being a day behind – in everything!  I can’t seem to catch up, but I am trying!  When I looked at the clock a while ago I realized that it was already Wednesday, and I had not yet put up Tuesday’s post.  The day just ran away!  How does that happen?  One would think that with as much time as I am awake each day (about 22 hours these days) that I would have more than enough time to get everything done and throw in some rest to boot!  But sadly, no.  I get started on something and the clock starts to race, and no sooner have I made headway on one project than another will demand attention and the first has to be abandoned and the process repeats itself until the day ends and nothing is finished – but a lot was started!  Anyway – here’s what my Muse helped me with today:

I have completed the editing/rewriting of a couple of poems, the originals of which I have shared with you in the past.  Almost everything I write these days is subject to constant revision, but I don’t always let you in on the later versions.  You just get the first drafts!  So I am going to give you the first draft of one of those poems here, followed by the rewrite.  Please let me know which you like better, (if you like either at all), and why.  I appreciate all the feedback I can get!  Thank you so much for indulging me.  I will be repeating this process with other poems in the days and weeks to come.  For today, one is enough. . .

Ode to Simplicity  (Version #1

I’ve heard it over and over again –
The bigger the word, the more the pain
To understand what one is reading!
But I’ll not heed such lazy pleading
To simplify the things I write –
No! I can’t give up the fight
To use the whole vocabulary
Comprising my own formidably
Of words I use for the edification
Of those who lack my sophistication!
Sound condescending or high-fallutin’?
My reply is “Yer darn tootin’!”
Though I’ve come at last to the conclusion
That precise expression is my delusion.
Still – I struggle every day
For exactly le mot juste to say.
(Therefore, when I’m in a pinch
I will resort to using French.)
But knowing the distance words can create
‘Twixt poet and reader, I know my fate:
Continue to complexify
and use those words that vexify
Or reduce all words to just one syllable
Like “cash is due” for “services billable.”
I see it now, my choice is clear:
For my readership will shrink, I fear,
If I continue on my path
And thus incur their scorn and wrath
For my poetry, often complicated
With words long and unaltercated.
Were I to define, their minds would atrophy,
And explaining to them my lofty philosophy
Of language, most surely would perturb me,
Irritate, nettle, rag, disturb me.
So if the reader’s always right,
Then I must give up and cede this fight!
From this day on I’ll do my best
To satisfy my rhyming quest
By using words both short and easy –
Even when they make me queasy.
But, until I get the hang of it
You can expect me to harangue a bit!

A Wordsmith’s Dilemma (Version #2, with new title)

I’ve heard it time and time again –
The bigger the word, the more the pain
To understand what one is reading!
I’ve always fought against such pleading.
I’ll never cease my valiant fighting
Not to simplify my writing!
Woe to all who’d put a hex upon
My complete and unabridged lexicon.
Such acts require the damnification.
Of those with no verbal sophistication
They think my language high-fallutin’?
My reply is “Yer darn tootin’!”
I use words to avoid confusion
About my meaning or allusion.
To do so, I search every day
For exactly
le mot juste to say.
(And often, when I’m in a pinch
I will resort to using French.)
My verses of poetic creation
Are not a conceited affectation.
My aim is not perplexity
When I employ complexity.
To condense all words to just one syllable,
Like “cash is due” for “services billable,”
Would make my metaphors, I fear,
Uncouth, unartful, and unclear.
To simplify an expressive art
Would be to extricate my heart.
My poems can be complicated,
Long, and unabbreviated.
My archetypal philosophy
Gives voice to my theosophy.
Trite and common words perturb me,

Irritate, nettle, rag, disturb me.
It’s mediocrity I fight,
In everything I say and write!
To satisfy my rhyming quest
I’ve always tried to do my best.
Yet, even though it makes me queasy –
I’ll search for words precise and easy
.
But
 until I get the hang of it
You can expect me to harangue a bit!

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