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Importance of meter and meter of importance

Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter

Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

Concise languages are better than verbose. Perl fans admire the language for nothing but its ability to express algorithms in a very concise manner. Lately a lot of Java developers started to look at Python, in the same search of brevity...
Let's ask ourselves: is brevity always good?
It's long known in markup theory of poetry (see: Roman Jacobson, "Poetry of Grammar and the Grammar of Poetry") that the large verbose meters promote noble elevated way of thinking. Hexameter. Classical works on immense beauty and striking depth were written in this meter.
"How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!"
Now limerick. Short, concise, energetic form, but what content does it promote?
"There was an old man from Peru,
Who dreamed he was eating his shoe.
He woke in a fright
In the middle of the night
And found it was perfectly true."
Feel the difference?
This is about what is being written in Java and what in your Perl/Python...
[ May 26, 2002: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]

Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.
- Robert Bresson
Michael Matola
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 25, 2001
Posts: 1793
What are your thoughts on haiku?
Fyodor Myshkin

Joined: Nov 05, 2001
Posts: 25
Brevity has it's uses.
" The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms
In this last of meeting places
We grope together
and avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river
Sightless, unless
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Multifoliate rose
Of death's twilight kingdom
The hope only
Of empty men"
[ May 26, 2002: Message edited by: Fyodor Myshkin ]

"And remember, when you look into the pit, the pit looks back into you."<br /> -- Anonymous INTERCAL hacker
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter

Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

Haiku is just modified chastushka.
Fyodor! Nice to see you again...
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
Greek use of hexameter, compared to limericks, is like comparing chess to football. Each expresses meaning and conflict in a way that appeals to different kinds of audiences.
Noble expression is socially complex, or not, depending on context. Shakespeare's 'Cymbeline' or 'Midsummer Night's Dream' are highly crafted expressions of social codes that is explored in a manner the audiences of the time found satisying. It occupied people for several hours, and it confirmed tensions and ambiguities of social order in Elizabethan England. Or that is what Michael would tell us.
The film 'Nurse Betty' expresses many of the same ideas as those two plays, but does not exhaust its audience the way Shakespeare probably would. It is also not as popular a film as 'Pulp Fiction' which is more graphically violent and 'modern' and requires less thinking about 'noble' themes. Closer to football than baseball.

Uncontrolled vocabularies
"I try my best to make *all* my posts nice, even when I feel upset" -- Philippe Maquet
ersin eser
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 22, 2001
Posts: 1072
"Et j'ai quelquefois vu
ce que l'homme a cru voir"
And I sometimes saw
what men believed he saw.
I agree. Here's the link:
subject: Importance of meter and meter of importance
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