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Re: CHAT: Poetry and prose

From:BP.Jonsson <bpj@...>
Date:Friday, December 25, 1998, 17:55
[wading through my backmail waiting for Xmas Day afternoon to pass...]

ho de Ioannes Saggoinarios egraphe men:

> Raimundus A. Brown scripsit: > > > The first literature of many cultures was/ is poetry. > > Of every culture, I would say. M. Jourdan's discovery that all his > life he has been speaking prose is actually plausible: many cultures > never get as far as prose.
And Othinn spoke in verse always... It should be noted that in an illiterate culture versification may be a necessary aid when large stretches of "text" must be memorized. Longer prose narratives are likely to be a product of literacy.
> In fact, of course, we don't speak > prose, and when we hear someone doing so, we say (in English) that > he talks like a book. How is this idiom represented in other > languages?
Pretty much the same in Swedish, with the variant "pronouncing every letter". This subject makes me recall my first cross-country bus ride on Iceland. I was talking to a fellow passenger when her daughter -- a girl of about four years -- suddenly said: "Mummy, he sounds just like a book, this man!" :)
> > >> Language is not a long equation to me. > > Nor me either. > > It's interesting that one of the things people are most interested > in doing with Lojban, the quintessential loglang, is writing and > translating poetry!
It's the same with Esperanto, reportedly. Maybe it is because poetry stresses structure rather than content, assuming that many who want to larn these languages are inordinately interested in language for its own sake!