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View Diary: Which Woman Would You Put on a US Banknote? (108 comments)

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  •  America's greatest literary genius, Emily Dicki... (15+ / 0-)

    America's greatest literary genius, Emily Dickinson.

    •  Thanks for that (5+ / 0-)

      "American's greatest literary genius."

      I tend to agree b/c she was writing 20th Century poetry at least 50 or 60 years ahead of the Modernists.

      Whereas Walt Whitman was clearly a poet of his century, and not at all ahead of his time.

      English usage is sometimes more than mere taste, judgment and education - sometimes it's sheer luck, like getting across the street. E. B. White

      by Youffraita on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 11:17:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Just calling a woman a genius (4+ / 0-)

        is breaking the mold.

        © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

        by cai on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 11:27:02 PM PDT

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        •  Well, SHE broke the mold. (6+ / 0-)

          If you look at Dickinson's poetry -- which was rarely published during her lifetime -- and compare it to what people were writing ... well basically from the 1920s or so onward, you will find that she's very much a 20th Century poet, hampered only by writing in the 1860s.

          While Dickinson was a prolific private poet, fewer than a dozen of her nearly 1800 poems were published during her lifetime.[2] The work that was published during her lifetime was usually altered significantly by the publishers to fit the conventional poetic rules of the time. Dickinson's poems are unique for the era in which she wrote; they contain short lines, typically lack titles, and often use slant rhyme as well as unconventional capitalization and punctuation.[3] Many of her poems deal with themes of death and immortality, two recurring topics in letters to her friends.
          "Tell the truth/but tell it slant" is from one of her most famous poems. Here's the link to her Wiki page:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/...

          English usage is sometimes more than mere taste, judgment and education - sometimes it's sheer luck, like getting across the street. E. B. White

          by Youffraita on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 12:22:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I meant in a good way! (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Youffraita, Bob Love

            "Genius" as a word has been used in very sexist ways, and it's good to apply it to deserving women.  Dickinson qualifies.

            © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

            by cai on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 01:01:31 PM PDT

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            •  Oh, cai, I didn't meant to imply (2+ / 0-)
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              cai, Bob Love

              that you didn't mean exactly what you say. I meant to imply that she is not as readily acknowledged as the genius she was.

              Everyone talks about Walt Whitman -- but he wasn't brilliant, he was adequate.

              Dickinson was definitely a genius, and at least half a century ahead of her time.

              English usage is sometimes more than mere taste, judgment and education - sometimes it's sheer luck, like getting across the street. E. B. White

              by Youffraita on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 01:11:36 PM PDT

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              •  I have never gotten the appeal of Whitman at all. (2+ / 0-)
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                Youffraita, Bob Love

                Sure, he has a couple good lines, but when I try to read his work I get bored and wander off.  And I like poetry!

                © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

                by cai on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 01:22:43 PM PDT

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                •  You too? (2+ / 0-)
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                  cai, Bob Love
                  when I try to read his work I get bored and wander off.  And I like poetry!
                  I think he's a snoozefest too. If he could write as well as Shakespeare I'd give him a pass, but...Shakespeare he ain't.

                  English usage is sometimes more than mere taste, judgment and education - sometimes it's sheer luck, like getting across the street. E. B. White

                  by Youffraita on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 03:13:33 PM PDT

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                  •  Now now - nobody writes as well as Shakepeare. nt (1+ / 0-)
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                    Youffraita

                    Dick Cheney 2/14/10: "I was a big supporter of waterboarding"

                    by Bob Love on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 04:51:46 PM PDT

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                    •  True... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Bob Love

                      but he doesn't even write as well as the guy who wrote Archy and Mehitabel.

                      He ain't as good as Robert Frost.

                      He can't hold a candle to Yeats or Eliot.

                      He is, in fact, a mediocrity.

                      Sorry.

                      English usage is sometimes more than mere taste, judgment and education - sometimes it's sheer luck, like getting across the street. E. B. White

                      by Youffraita on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 06:13:53 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I dunno, there are many types of poetry (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Youffraita

                        and many ways to judge them.

                        Whitman's lines are prosodic, more loosely rhythmic than the precise metrics of more traditional poets, and this informality itself can create a sense of democratic, self-defining, expansive freedom. His rhythms are structured more by actual common speech, and not traditional musical rhythms, the breath and the not the line.

                        Yeah, I find him boring too, but I think that everyone can find the right poet if they only get the chance, and if that poet happens to be Whitman, then blessed be (although I'd encourage further reading).

                        Dick Cheney 2/14/10: "I was a big supporter of waterboarding"

                        by Bob Love on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 11:29:03 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Whitman was (0+ / 0-)

                          a poet for the 19th century.

                          If people still read him -- great!

                          I won't be one of them, but to each her own, right?

                          English usage is sometimes more than mere taste, judgment and education - sometimes it's sheer luck, like getting across the street. E. B. White

                          by Youffraita on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 10:29:19 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                •  He represents America's Democratic robustness (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  cai, Youffraita

                  with an abundance of words to match the abundant promise of the vast and still-young nation.

                  But Dickinson's insights are much deeper, much more acute.

                  I heard a Fly buzz – when I died –  
                  The Stillness in the Room
                  Was like the Stillness in the Air –  
                  Between the Heaves of Storm –

                  The Eyes around – had wrung them dry –  
                  And Breaths were gathering firm
                  For that last Onset – when the King
                  Be witnessed – in the Room –  

                  I willed my Keepsakes – Signed away
                  What portions of me be
                  Assignable – and then it was
                  There interposed a Fly –  

                  With Blue – uncertain stumbling Buzz –  
                  Between the light – and me –  
                  And then the Windows failed – and then
                  I could not see to see –

                  Dick Cheney 2/14/10: "I was a big supporter of waterboarding"

                  by Bob Love on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 04:50:21 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You see what she did there? (0+ / 0-)

                    It isn't JUST about her depth, it's also about how she wrote it: short lines, lots of dashes.

                    VERY 20th century. Only, about 50 or 60 years early.

                    English usage is sometimes more than mere taste, judgment and education - sometimes it's sheer luck, like getting across the street. E. B. White

                    by Youffraita on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 06:16:51 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

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