Sunday, August 02, 2009
Sounds Like A Sunshine Harpsichord (Sunday's Poem 27)
Gee, You’re So Beautiful That It’s Starting to Rain
by Richard Brautigan
I want your long blonde beauty
to be taught in high school,
so kids will learn that God
lives like music in the skin
and sounds like a sunshine harpsichord.
I want high school report cards
to look like this:
Playing with Gentle Glass Things
Writing Letters to Those You Love
Finding out about Fish
Marcia’s Long Blonde Beauty
So much of poetry, I think, is this: putting words together in unusual ways. That, more than rhyme and rhythm, is what separates poetry from prose. I think of writing as a spectrum -- on one end is technical writing, and on the other is the sonnet. The closer one gets to the sonnet -- the hardest type of poem to write, and the most beautiful-- the more poetic the writing is. Focusing on rhythm, focusing on rhyme, focusing on how the words look on paper, and focusing on the juxtaposition of words in unusual orders, makes writing get more poetic as it goes on.
That's what made me choose this poem today: It combines many (but not all) of the elements of a great poem. The imagery and word choice create contrasts in the mind: so beautiful that it's starting to rain... finding out about fish... those kinds of things. Plus the way the poem sits on the page (or screen) draws emphasis into some words while de-emphasizing others.
That and it's a fun poem.