Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Rhyming Dictionaries, or in rejection of Andrew Motion

I see in my book shop an endorsement on the cover of a rhyming dictionary which states that ‘no one who loves words should be without this’ according to our poet laureate Andrew Motion.

What an appalling notion.
For focusing on rhyming alone as the signifier of logophiliacs
Is like saying all journalists are like the authors of a small press article on the sale of a yoyo collection in Shackamaxton Philadelphia, and quite simply all journalists are not yoyo-philly-hacks.

Equally all readers do not rhyme and all rhymesters are not bibliophiles or high brow
And I think this is a jolly good thing lest greeting card companies flounder and popular songs become so high-falutin’ that the only response to them is a sardonic haiku or raised eyebrow.

If rhyming dictionaries get into everyone’s hands that like words, even the shameless and brash. Then we’ll be faced with nothing so much as a pester of writers who hold themselves the equal of Wordsworth, or Byron, or Pope or even the incomparable Ogden Nash.

And that is a thing impossible. For there was never a writer as capable as Ogden Nash of writing a line that ran on until the breath you were trying to hold in to say it wasn’t hold-in-able or squooshable.

Simon BJ

2 comments:

Tardieu said...

Issues 1-16 of John Byrne's Blood of the Demon just arrived along with his take on the Doom Patrol. this just moved Etrigan's adventures to the top of the reading pile.

Site Owner said...

I enjoyed JB's Blood of the Demon immensely, his Doom Patrol less so, but if you are intimating that my doggeral has whetted your appetite for Etrigonic verse, I fear that JB's Etrigan doesn't speak in verse, instead returning to the pre Alan Moore, Kirby model.

Cheers

Simon BJ