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Lilt: a theory of melody

A melody has to catch the ear. A lilt is an up and down movement that has to be asymmetrical or surprising in some way. It can go up, and ...

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Parodic Swerve

It takes very little swerve to transform a serious imitation into a parody, or a seemingly good poem into a bad one. Sometimes it is only the failure to mimic the original faithfully. The way a caricaturist will exaggerate the most prominent feature of the subject's face. Of course I prefer a slightly more subtle form of parody in most cases. Elizabeth Bishop would be almost impossible to parody, not only because she is so good, but because there is almost no endearing weakness. I like poets more who open themselves up to gentle mockery.

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