i maeded a poem guise

Black and white model photoi can break

words into lines

oh, look!

i maeded a poem guise!!1!1

What would drive me to write four lines of facetious nonsense? Partly boredom, I guess, as I’m currently stuck around moving in my new old computer due to my old one being functionally dead. Partly a feeling that I need to write something as school has now officially killed my translation time – but mostly, I guess, irritation.

Being young, I spend rather more of my time than I care to admit on Tumblr, a teenage wasteland of hipster angst and people who think that shouting at other people over the internet is activism. (I run a physics blog on there – because Tumblr is very heavily image- and reblog-based it’s easy to copy content quickly. Making serious thought-out posts is harder, I find, because the save function is pretty primitive.)

Old black and white photographNow, I don’t blame Tumblr for mediocre poetry – Tumblr is just a platform. Besides, mediocre poetry has been around since poetry itself first came into being. I do, however, blame it for bringing me into contact with more mediocre poetry than I would have otherwise been exposed to. That said, my primary problem isn’t Tumblr; my primary problem is the worship of the artist as some magician who takes the raw ingredients of life, mixes them all up, and then – BAM! – timeless work of art! For fairly obvious reasons a lot of artists have propagated this worship (it garners them the respect they have historically only rarely enjoyed).

The trouble with me is…well…fundamentally, I’m a scientist. (Awkward to be admitting this on a translation blog, but still.) I like to take things apart and see how they work – including things that you’re not really supposed to take apart, like the creative process. And what I see (okay, it probably isn’t helped by the fact that I’ve been reading a massive tome on modernism for my French cultural class) is that art serves to let people communicate their emotions – intangible things nearly inexpressible in prose. It’s no more magical than maths is magical – it’s simply a different way to communicate and used for different things. (I mean, imagine trying to write an equation for the Aeneid…)

Model dancing in bubblesThat doesn’t mean it’s not beautiful – but to me beauty is everywhere, even in the ugliest things. I will happily stand around gawping at the way light shines through stained-glass windows or sigh with pleasure reading Latin poetry, which makes me seem very naive to other people. Neither does that mean that art isn’t worth anything anymore – it’s simply not special, and beauty does not imply goodness. All good things are beautiful, but not all beautiful things are morally good.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is that art isn’t some mysterious and ultimately unknowable gift bestowed only upon a chosen few, and that beauty is everywhere – not just at the disposal of the artist. But that also means accepting, I guess, that even my random facetious scribblings, totally unworthy of elevation to any higher sphere, are poetry – and by that same token that poetry, and art in general, aren’t special.


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