Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A poet I'm not

For nearly a decade, I have belonged to a writers workshop in the Florida retirement community where I live half the year. We have about a dozen regular members and meet twice monthly. About another dozen residents occasionally show up at our meetings. A couple of the members have had professional writing experience. The others regard their writing endeavors as a hobby and, obviously, as a source of creative pleasure.

At our meetings we read our own handiwork and critique the work of the others. It's all handled courteously and in good humor, and we have become a very congenial social group. Both non-fiction and fiction is offered for discussion.

A considerable amount of the work discussed is poetry. I've never been a devotee of poetry. I regard poetry as a very specialized type of writing for which I have no talent. And I will confess that I have never fully appreciated poetic output.

But I stand in awe of those who do write poetry, and I am impressed by the highly skilled work that many of our workshop members produce.

I recently recalled that I did once write a poem myself. But I have not dared to read it for serious discussion at our workshop meetings.

For posterity's sake, however, I will expose my poetic creation here.

When I returned to New York University after my Army discharge in 1946, I was enrolled as a journalism major. Curiously, the journalism department was then housed in the university's college of commerce, where I was obliged to declare an academic minor. I selected marketing even though, in all candor, I consider it presumptuous that marketing is considered an academic discipline.

The only marketing class that I did find interesting and challenging was one in advertising copy writing. Shortly before the class began, Coty, the world-famed beauty products manufacturer, introduced a new fragrance named Muse.

One class assignment that I still remember was to produce an advertisement for the new Muse perfume. I don't know whether our professor had any business relationship with the company, but he evidently considered the project professionally relevant and topical.

That's when I turned to poetry-writing for the first and only time in my life. This is what I wrote:

Was it said by Homer that no man can refuse
The come-hither aroma of Coty's new Muse?
Oh no it was not a maxim of Homer,
But of truth there's a lot in this quip on aroma.

More than 60 years later, I'm proud to reveal that I received an A-grade for my poetic creation. I have never had the inclination or courage, however, to write poetry again.


Blogger Sylvia K said...

Oh, Mort, that is delightful! I love it! Thanks for showing us just one more of your many, marvelous talents! Definitely the brightest spot in another dreary northwest day. Obviously all the sun in Florida has stirred your pot of creative energy -- even if the poem was 60 years old!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009 1:15:00 PM  
Blogger Hoots said...

How very timely, Mort!

Just this morning NPR had a little three-minute air-time filler (no pun intended) about the renovation and renovation of a perfume museum in Grasse, France.

And wouldn't you know, the websight linked with another little blurb from last week, The Sweet Smell Of Brooklyn?

I'm sure your your journalism career was better off with poetry left behind but your poem turns up like an old bus token that still has value.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009 2:55:00 PM  
Blogger Kay Dennison said...

Absolutely terrific, Mort!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009 5:28:00 PM  
Blogger Darlene said...

You deserved the A, Mort, because that is a very clever rhyme.

I have never been an devotee of poetry; especially poetry that doesn't rhyme. I love the cute rhymes that Brenda of Rinkly Rimes writes, but they rhyme and are very cute.

I have never taken a writing class, but anyone who reads my blog would heartily recommend it, I'm sure. ;)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009 5:23:00 PM  
Blogger Compson said...

Hello Mort I'm reading now the Robert Sherwood book that you advised me long ago about Harry Hopkins and Franklin Roosevelt and it is a wonderfull book. Thanks. a dutch farmer

Friday, January 30, 2009 1:45:00 PM  
Blogger Norma said...

A fine piece of art.

Saturday, January 31, 2009 5:26:00 PM  
Blogger Tamar Orvell said...

Would love to shmooze over good coffee with you and listen to your stories of life at NYU and years of pre-professional training and internships. As TIme Goes By (yes, reference to "where" we were introduced!), I understand how giant the impact of our teachers. Decades later, it's the great ones I think about. The nasty ones remain caricatures, de-fanged, de-clawed by time and more mature processing!).

Thank you so much for your warm comments, "kinsman," on My third act. (I'd be happy to say hi to your kin in Tel Aviv if you send details to my email.)

Tuesday, February 03, 2009 8:03:00 AM  
Blogger Chancy said...

What was that old line?

"He's a poet,
And don't know it"


Wednesday, February 04, 2009 11:45:00 PM  
Blogger Lydia said...

That's a super poem resulting from a super-interesting story (as usual). I think you should read it to your class but, if not, I am pleased you placed it here in your blog for "posterity's sake."

Sunday, February 08, 2009 4:28:00 AM  
Blogger The Acolyte Tao said...

I love your blog and all of your post are entertaining, well written and enjoyable to read! I wish I had this quality of writing.

Friday, February 13, 2009 12:14:00 AM  

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