Like pretty much all of us, I just love Stephen Fry. And no, I am not going to attempt to laud him in verse or song—that’s been done, and wonderfully, and in person—but rather, am hoping to use his expertise. You see, he wrote the book. And some day soon, I am going to have a long post (or series) here singing its praises.
I heard Susan Blackmore, at some conference, say something to the effect of “if you want to learn all about something, write a book on it.” She was speaking of consciousness, and her journey led her to write, now, several books on it. But that’s not what I need help with. I need to know if I have, as I suspect, come up with a brand-new verse form worthy of its own name and everything. It has structure. It has rules. It has examples. What I don’t know is, has it already been done? And who better to ask than Stephen Fry, the man who wrote the book?
Dear sir: I am not a real poet, and know it,
I read lots of stuff, and I comment in verse;
It’s not that my words are much sweeter in meter
And rhyme, but the truth is they can’t be much worse.
Because my obsession’s impassioned, I’ve fashioned
A form that, as far as I know, is unique;
I missed, though, some critical knowledge from college,
So yours is the expert opinion I seek.
I hope that a simple example is ample
To show you the structure, to help you decide;
I’ve other ones, too, that I’m thinking of linking
In lieu of some sort of a technical guide
The scansion is simple, both rhyming and timing
With eight lines per stanza, two stanzas in all;
But that’s all I’ve got; it’s still nameless—but, shameless,
I’m hoping you’ll help me, and answer my call.
(by the way, this is probably the clunkiest example of the form, but once I decided to ask Mr. Fry, I couldn’t help myself… nor could I wait and edit it until I got it just right.)
A bit more, and links to many more examples, after the jump:
Ok, I know that Stephen Fry is amongst the busiest people you’ve heard of, so I have no huge expectation that this question of mine will even show up on his radar. But my pal Kylie knows that Mr. Fry is tremendously gracious–she interviewed him for her podcast–so… who knows? And it is true that the very first example of my verse form was inspired by Fry’s friend Douglas Adams, so… ok, so there is still not a lot of reason to get my hopes up. But just in case, I’ll include examples from politics, public opinion research, ghost-hunting, the recent Catholic whining about having to follow the laws… I strongly suspect there are more, but I’m already (even assuming this works) taking too much of a busy man’s time.
So anyway, if you happen to be one of Mr. Fry’s estimated seven billion twitter followers, or are a member of his social circles, or are, say, a hobbit, if you could point out my question to him, I’d be most grateful. Failing that, if you know anyone else who could actually answer my question, that would be a poor but welcome second.
And if you do read this, Mr. Fry, thank you for, well, pretty much everything your career thus far has encompassed.