About 'If You Laugh'

From: Quincunx [quincunxusa@excite.com]
Sent: Wednesday, February 21, 2001 8:58 AM
To: Icekateers@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [Icekateers] (Bobby poem) "If You Laugh"

Oh! Oh! I think everybody saw something entirely different in this! That's so cool!

Smitty: Yes! Exactly! I do think making other people happy makes Bobby happy! I know it makes me happy ... we're simple people, Bobby and I, all we need is happy people ... and icecream.

Icyhugs: I wasn't even thinking that, but it is there now that I look ... any person living a secret needs a shield. Humor is Bobby's.

I'm glad you guys liked it, I'm glad I made Kerrie sniffle ... Oh, wait, that sounds mean ... I had to fight the urge to run outside, accost total srangers, and anounce, "Kerrie Smith said my poem was 'very Bobby'!! Isn't that cool!?"

Thanks Zil! I think any time either of us says 'Pendleton' now the other is going to laugh...

This 'everybody saw something different' thing made me think of this other poem I wrote a loooong time ago. In a highschool literature class-we had to read a poem and then we had an experts analysis of the poem. Afterwords we had a basic 'fill in the blanks' quiz about the poems meaning...but I disagreed with the essay about the poem. So, instead, I wrote a poem about the poem and turned it in. Got in trouble too..I was a difficult and fickle student...

Anyway it went like this:

Tell me the meaning, is the teacher's request
But there are a thousand meanings in a single rhyme
who am I to choose which is the best?
I can analize the meter, the rythm, and rhyme
but can we agree to disagree on the poet's intent?

There was more, but I've forgotten it. The last line was 'Isn't it sad how we have condemned poetry to reason?'

I gotta try and dig the rest up some time.

All the teacher wanted was nice simple students...

I write poetry for poetries sake. If anybody tried to do an in depth expert analysis of one of my poems, and pin down a single meaning, I would think they were insane. Every poem has a thousand meanings ... some may have been intended, some may have been subconscious, others might not have occurred to the poet at all. At least, that's what I think 8) It's one of the reasons I love poetry.

The rest is my Dad's fault. He writes poetry all the time. I'm used to finding scraps of poetry pressed between the pages of a book or scrawled in old notebooks and forgotten sketchpads. The house we lived in when I was little had the inscription:

"Sated, the fat tiger sleeps under the stair.
But, would you rather a thin one rested there?"

over the stairwell 'cuz my dad got bored with a permanent marker once.

Quincunx, whose favorite poem is Edgar Allan Poe's "The Bells", even though I dislike most of Poe's other work.

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