Friday, January 15, 2010

Quote of the Week: The Power of Poetry

I seem to have forgotten to post the usual "Quote of the Week" this morning, so, to make up for it, have an extra-long installment:

"'This is great stuff, Mister Nutt. This is really great stuff. This is poetry, but what really is it sayin'?'

Nutt cleared his throat. 'Well, sir, the essence of poetry of this nature is to create a mood that will make the recipient, that is to say, sir, the young lady who you are going to send it to, feel very kindly disposed to the author of the poem, which would be you, sir, in this case. According to Ladyship, everything else is just showing off. I have brought you a pen and an envelope; if you would kindly sign the poem I will ensure that it gets to Miss Juliet.'

'I bet no one's ever written her a poem before,' said Trev, skating quickly over the truth that he hadn't either. 'I'd love to be there when she reads it.'

'That would not be advised,' said Nutt quickly. 'The general consensus is that the lady concerned reads it in the absence of the hopeful swain, that is you, sir, and forms a beneficent mental picture of him. Your actual presence might actually get in the way, especially since I see you haven't changed your shirt again today. Besides, I am informed that there is a possibility that all her clothes will fall off.'

Trev, who had been struggling with the concept of 'swain,' fast-forwarded to this information at speed. 'Er, say that again?'

'All her clothes might fall off. I am sorry about this, but it appears to be a by-product of the whole business of poetry. But broadly speaking, sir, it carries the message you have asked for, which is to say "I think you're really fit. I really fancy you. Can we have a date? No hanky panky, I promise." However, sir, since it is a love poem, I have taken the liberty of altering it slightly to carry the suggestion that if hanky or panky should appear to be welcomed by the young lady she will not find you wanting in either department.'
- Trevor Lively and Mr. Nutt examining the wonder and splendor of poetry on pp.126-127 of Terry Pratchett's Unseen Academicals

No comments:

Post a Comment