Landscape photography by Eryl Shields

Line Manager

Two days of doing other things and I’ve been flipped out of writing mode like a tiddlywink. Now here I am trying to roll out of the dog’s basket, and back on to the board.

So here is an exercise that can be played with without causing too much agony. It asks that we try and reinstate the line breaks in this poem*:

tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, creeps in this petty pace from day to day, to the last syllable of recorded time; and all our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death. out, out, brief candle! life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.


Here’s my attempt

tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, creeps
in this petty pace from day to day,
to the last syllable of recorded time;
and all our yesterdays have lighted fools
the way to dusty death.
out, out, brief candle! life’s
but a walking shadow, a poor player
that struts and frets his hour upon the stage
and then is heard no more:
it is a tale told by an idiot,
full of sound and fury,
signifying nothing.

I’ll post the original tomorrow.

*from the online course I’m doing with Cal Arts.

9 Comments

  1. I mostly put the line breaks in the same places as you 🙂
    I remember the poetry part of my OU course and how enjoyable it was tinkering with the words and lines. I don’t know why I haven’t tried to write more, maybe it’s because I don’t know any of the technical rules and when I try to understand them my mind puts up a barrier.
    Sx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Trying to understand the technical rules is always a horrible exercise. I was teaching formal metrics last year and nearly ended myself! Never again. I try to think of a line of poetry as a self contained unit of sound, if that helps. But you’re so busy with your calligraphy, and dog, you don’t have time to write too. X

      Like

  2. Well I could do a sneaky and crack the Complete Works of…
    But I don’t like to cheat. Have to say, though, that it must be more than 50 years since I had much to do with that Danish wimp so I’m sort-of cheating agreeing with you.
    Trying to teach formal poetry, especially when English has changed so much since formal structure was in vogue, is, indeed, enough to drive you bonkers.
    If I wanted to flip the switch when students whinged I’d tell them to give me a villanelle or pantoum.
    And now? Strictly blank, like my brain!

    Liked by 1 person

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