Wednesday, April 23, 2008

From Random to Reason

Ed Pacht has attempted to use all the words and has succeeded. What an excellent poem!

Ed wrote to me that "Improbable though it seemed, I decided I just had to use them all in one poem. I finally had two [words] left. One went into the title, and the other into the two-line epilog, and I did it. Not my best poem ever, but it works."

(Here again is the list of random words and phrases: cornered and caged--pink prom flowers--feverish brain--glimpse--warp speed--unfailing youth--tagging along--spreading silence--peace forseen--tortuous path--mocking sign--hung out to dry--derailed affair--corrosive speech--sea-being--payday--broken bones)

Pain Like Broken Bones
Ed Pacht

Cornered and caged, my feverish brain,
working at warp speed, not ever resting,
its tortuous path leading me nowhere,
while, tagging along, the worries keep coming ...

Cornered and caged, my feverish brain,
hung out to dry in the flames of confusion,
corrosive speech, a derailed affair,
cruel mocking sign, bringing despair ...

Cornered and caged, my feverish brain,
now gets a glimpse, like pink prom flowers,
of beauty that is, though beauty unseen,
of rest from confusion, of real peace foreseen.

Cornered and caged, my feverish brain,
suddenly touched by swift spreading silence,
restoring the strength of unfailing youth,
is touched by the payday unsought.

Like a sea-being resting weightless and free,
in limitless oceans of calm.


Alice C. Linsley said...

I'm glad you were able to use all the words. Ed. : )

I have 6 lists of words and phrases that I use with students. The words are randomly selected from fiction, non-fiction, journalism and poetry. Often there seems to be a relationship suggested between all the words, which makes me wonder if langauge is ever really random.

Alice C. Linsley said...

Ed has remarked, "You know, the very existence of a word is a powerful attack upon randomness. Every word or phrase, even a bit of nonsense like 'slithy tove', is a purposeful ordering of reality to an end. I'd say further that it is impossible for a single human mind to make a truly random selection among words. One's brain is, it would seem, wired so as to make connections, even when they are not apparent. Actually, the list I worked from, if I'd found it without attribution, would have made me think of a personality much like what I've come to know of yours. I would not/could not have made that selection myself. Writing the poem actually felt like taking a journey with Alice into her own wonderland."

Yes, it is our minds/souls that make sense of the world. Plato was right!