Saturday, 22 March 2008

Poetry or Prose - What's the Difference?

"A prose writer gets tired of writing prose, and wants to be a poet. So he begins every line with a capital letter, and keeps on writing prose. "
~ Samuel McChord Crothers

How do we decide whether a piece of writing is poetry or prose? I tend to agree with Crothers (above quote) but there has to be more to it than that.

Dictionary definitions are usually not helpful I find. A short piece of imaginative writing, of a personal nature laid out in lines is often the answer. An art form which represents something of the world, expresses and evokes emotion, is pleasing to read and can be something self-defining perhaps. A piece of writing that shows the cohesion between humans and their lives, even.

I am sure poetry is all these things and more - as an English teacher of mine once said "the best possible words in the best possible order".

But what of prose then?

Ordinary writing as distinguished from verse without metrical structure?
Not all that is classed as poetry has metrical structure, and certainly is not always in verse. Isn't this a subjective view anyway?
Prose can evoke emotion, oneness with the world (or not) and all of the things that "poetry" professes as it's own.

Is there a difference?

Monday, 10 March 2008

Out of sight out of mind?

So, the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has approved plans to build up to 750 new homes in Givat Zeev a Jewish settlement in the West Bank.
Under the terms of the peace process settlement expansion is supposed to be frozen. But apparently this has been ignored, and Israel’s housing minister has said that the construction will address “"the demographic needs of Jerusalem".
And this in the aftermath of a report that says that the humanitarian crisis in Gaza is at its worst since Israel seized the territory in 1967.

This study was conducted by eight British-based human rights organisations, including Amnesty International and Save the Children and found that more than 80 per cent of the 1.1 million population of Gaza are now dependent on food aid

Unemployment has risen to 40 per cent after around 70 per cent of the 110,000 workers employed in the private sector lost their jobs.
The report comes just days after a spate of Israeli raids left more than 120 Palestinians and three days after a Palestinian gunman opened fire in a Jewish seminary in Jerusalem, killing eight young people.
Hospitals in Gaza are suffering from power cuts of up to 12 hours a day, and the water and sewage systems are close to collapse, with 40-50 million litres of sewage pouring into the sea daily.

Israel has the right and obligation to protect its citizens, but as the occupying power in Gaza it also has a legal duty to ensure that Gazans have access to food, clean water, electricity and medical care.

When is Israel going to end its blockade of Gaza and for both sides to stop cease cross-border attacks?

Is punishing the entire Gazan population by denying them basic human needs in any way defensible ?

Does anyone have an answer to any of these problems? And if they do – please can we do something quickly before more innocent lives are lost.

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Want to know a secret ?

Anyone seen the film “Away From Her”?
A couple appear to have had a perfect marriage for over 44 years but have their feelings tested when the wife starts to suffer from Alzheimer’s and has to be moved to a nursing home. She seems to lose all memory of her husband and begins to develop a romance with another nursing home resident.
As time passes, in a brief moment of lucidity, it is revealed that the wife has always known that her husband had an affair with one of his students many years ago. She questions why he tried to keep it secret and he wonders if she has really lost her memory of him or if she is trying to punish him.
Do we need secrets? Is there ever a good enough reason to keep something from someone because we think it may hurt them? The truth usually comes out somehow, and when it does it is often more hurtful that, in effect, a “lie” has been told through omission. I am guilty of telling too much, which in itself can cause friction – I appreciate that not everyone feels the need to talk about their every thought and action and in fact there is often no need. It’s just the way that I am.
But when does not telling becoming untruthful, and when does being truthful become too much information? What does anyone think?

Friday, 7 March 2008

What's a Blog for?

After thinking today what my next post would be, I have decided that sometimes I will use this blog as a kind of diary. Whether anyone reads it and wants to comment on the diary entries is debatable (and optional!) but as the original idea was to "write", I think this is what I need to do. It seems that blogging can easily become an excuse not to write anything purposeful - either because of a time shortage or because of getting deeply involved in a topic that was not necessarily your first choice for thinking about.
Then again, whatever is transferred from thoughts to paper/screen is "writing" and so perhaps I am already contradicting myself.

Today has been one of those days that shows how transient life is. From my Mother telling me that my forty five year old cousin had only 48 hours to live, to my Uncle (his father) telling me of his death a few hours the news of the birth of a healthy baby boy in another branch of my family. Perhaps we don't need to think of "subjects" for writing about or for discussion. Life itself is a story to be a character in and a tale to be told.

More Introductions to Blog

Now that I am getting to grips with the technical bit of "blogging" and have realised how to have a selection of topics under separate titles (yes ok, I am a bit slow but am managing) I have re-posted the first comments under Welcome under a new title of Thoughts on EU.

This is in case anyone thinks this is solely a political blog, and is put off by that. It's not, as I said in the Welcome, I would like comments and discussion on anything at all (within reason !)

Hope to post a further topic today and wait eagerly for your comments. Please also suggest topics too.

Thoughts on EU


Show Original Post

Scullduggery Watch said...
Hello Lexia
Congratulations on creating your first blog.Can I suggest a topic for your first subject matter?

REFERENDUM:1) Should we have a referendum on the Euro? 2) Is there a valid case for Britain to withdraw from the European Union altogether?It would be good to hear everyone's opinion on this. This topic usually manages to rouse strongly held beliefs from all sides of the political spectrum!
05 March 2008 15:41

janey-t said...
hello i would love to leave a comment but the subject is a little too heavy for me!
06 March 2008 03:18

Lexia said...
Thanks Skullduggery for your suggestions and thanks Jane for your comments. I have to admit that I am not too well versed in this area either, but as I have said I will discuss anything, I will do my best from my limited knowledge.
So - this Government seems to carry on regardless having very little care for the feelings of its electorate, which makes too many people feel that whatever their views, it’s not worth the effort to voice them. Gordon Brown promised a Referendum to the British people, and appears to have gone back on that promise even though 88% of the electorate want a Referendum.
I am never sure about the legitimacy of statistics, but have taken this from The Times – so if it’s not correct blame them. Trust between the electorate and our so-called representatives in Parliament is very low and , maybe politicians should learn that while the people don’t have a say in the future of their country's relationship with the EU, they will view the whole scenario with suspicion.
If this Lisbon Treaty is such a good thing and necessary for the UK, Gordon Brown should have been able to make the case for it. But it isn't necessary and it isn't good - so he cowed out and cancelled a Referendum he thought he couldn't win. Our politicians think that they are our rulers rather than our representatives, even those who haven’t actually been voted in yet, namely the Prime Minister. This country is being “led” by an undemocratic dictator who does not care about Britain or the constitutional rights of its citizens.

Therefore :1) there should be a referendum on the Euro – but I am not sure that there will be, and2) based on the undemocratic “democracy” that is this government, there is a real valid case for Britain to withdraw from the European Union, but I am very sure that this will not happen either.
06 March 2008 10:14

Scullduggery Watch said...
Excellent points you make there, Lexia! I agree with you 100%.
Gordon Brown is keen to engage people in the democratic process, just so long as it is his kind of democracy (ie. the electorate is obliged to give him the answer he is looking for- otherwise Brown is not interested in the electorate and to hell with democracy).Isn't it interesting that Gordon Brown will not give the British people the vote his party promised the electorate in 1997, yet all the while he is happy to throw his weight behind other popular but less important campaigns (ie. the attempts to ban bottled water and the bid to eradicate plastic bags from the supermarket checkouts)?
Such campaigning can only be viewed as Gordon Brown craving cheap publicity for populist support whilst all the while patronising the electorate. Does Gordon Brown feel we cannot be trusted with deciding our nation's future? Do we not have the right to vote on whether or not we want this Lisbon treaty? Wasn't the Labour party elected to Government on the mandate of giving us a referendum?
Am I the only one who is sick to death of this kind of gesture politics? Also, is anyone else reading this who is disgusted that the Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg ordered his party's MPs not to vote on the referendum debate on Wednesday? I would implore anyone else who feels the same way to please remember to hurt these self-serving bureaucrats at the next election.If we the electorate introduced these idiots to Government then we can sure as hell remove them from power the very next time we get a chance to do so.
06 March 2008 19:46

Wednesday, 5 March 2008


Hello to whoever is reading this and congratulations - you are the first (or one of the first) to read the initial posting on this blog !
I have said that I intend to discuss all sorts of things here and will do so in the next post - just wanted to say welcome and thanks for coming.
Please leave a post and let's get talking.