Verse

Verse verse verse verse. I have this thing lately about knocking the sense out of words by saying or reading or writing them a million times in a row. I did this with good the other day on a post below. Did it this morning with eight (for tiresome reasons I’m not going into). And just now again, with verse. And Oxford.

How? I did an Amazon search for Oxford Books of Verse.

Whoa! That would be how many results?

See if you can read through this very small sampling of the vast number of results returned and still retain any sense of the sense of the word verse. Or the word Oxford. Or book. Or the.

  • The Oxford Book of Caribbean Verse
    The Oxford Book of English Verse, 1250-1950
    The Oxford Book of Spanish Verse
    The Oxford Book of Romantic Period Verse
    The Oxford Book of Narrative Verse
    The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
    The Oxford Book of Twentieth Century English Verse
    The Oxford Book of Sixteenth-Century Verse
    The Oxford Book of English Verse, 1250-1918
    The Oxford Book of Sonnets
    The Oxford Book of Death
    The Oxford Book of Contemporary Verse 1945-1980
    The Oxford Illustrated Book of American Children’s Poems
    The Oxford Book of Children’s Verse in America
    The Oxford Book of Comic Verse
    The Oxford Book of Medieval English Verse
    The Oxford Book of Greek Verse in Translation
    The Oxford Book of Garden Verse
    The Oxford Book of Verse in English
    The Oxford Book of Eighteenth-Century Verse
    The Oxford Book of Welsh Verse in English
    The Oxford Book of Irish Verse
    The Oxford Book of Satirical Verse
    The Oxford Book of Australian Verse
    The Oxford Book of Australian Religious Verse
    The Oxford Book of English Traditional Verse
    The Oxford Book of Modern Verse
    The Oxford Book of Light Verse
    The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse in English

Anyhow, I did all that because, as you are probably no longer interested in hearing, I found this, which I really liked and keep thinking about, on p 528 of The Oxford Book of American Verse last night, by Trumbull Stickney, whom I’ve never heard of, even if you have:

Dramatic Fragment

Sir, say no more.
Within me ‘t as if
The green and climbing eyesight of a cat
Crawled near my mind’s poor birds.

Verse verse verse.

Verse.

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4 thoughts on “Verse

  1. What a beautiful post. I’ve experienced words’ loss of meaning many times before. It is such an eerie phenomenon. Somebody needs to investigate this a little more. Any (psycho)linguists around?

  2. Howard — Thanks for the link, esp for “Live Blindly and Upon the Hour” – another carpe diem piece for the collection.

    Renew — ever experienced loss of meaning of yourself by staring at a mirror and saying your name over and over again? I used to do it all the time as a kid. Not sure I want to now, though..

  3. i really like that “dramatic fragment.”
    it is a very interesting feeling when you look at a word you know and it is somehow momentarily meaningless to you. all you have are the letters and sounds. this happens to me, too, a lot. probably partly because of speaking another language half the time.
    enjoyed the listing of oxford verse books, too!

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