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Roy Jerden's Blog

About Roy Jerden
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I starting writing poetry again in 2012 after a 50 year hiatus.

Born and raised in West Texas, I lived all over the area as a child until my mother remarried, as my father was in the oil drilling business, which required constant moving. I grew up in San Angelo, home of Fort Concho and the Buffalo Soldiers, but spent quite a few summers working on my grandpa's farm in the Texas Hill Country.

I met my wife Toni while I was stationed at Aviano AFB, Italy. I learned to speak Italian fluently and we still speak it at home interchangeably with English. My three sons, all born in Italy after I got out of the USAF, also speak Italian.

We moved back to the USA in 1972 and settled in Missouri, where I went back to school.

We moved to Atlanta in 1988, when Toni relocated here with AT&T. I got a job with McKesson (then HBOC) working with medical information systems, which started my career in this field. I had a natural talent for application design and parlayed this talent into a great R&D management position with an internet startup.

We are now retired. We spend time traveling the world and visiting our grandchildren in CA and NC. We also spend some time in Italy almost every year visiting and traveling with friends in Europe as we have a small apartment there in Sacile near Aviano, not far from Venice.

My other passions are mushroom hunting (the edible kind), gourmet cooking and bread baking.


When Wordplay Approaches Jabberwocky


Blog Posted:1/12/2014 8:26:00 AM
`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll

I suppose that there is a continuum of poetic wordplay, on one end the simple, straightforward, perhaps pedestrian, lexicon of Cowboy poetry, and on the other end the schizophrenic semiotics of nonsense. (I'll give a pass to Jabberwocky, as it actually utilizes portmanteaus, and though appearing to be nonsense, isn't.)

However, it does illustrate the fact that nonsense can sound poetic, when placed in a grammatical context, i.e. “Something is in the something, and does something in some way”. It's grammatical, but is nonsense, because it has no meaning.

So when does poetry pass the line of interesting, but meaningful wordplay and enter the tenebrous realm of nonsense?

I am definitely in favor of wordplay that creates imagery and does that by pushing the envelope slightly, utilizing unusual and ambiguous combinations of words to stretch your mind.

However, when I see combinations of words that make no sense (except perhaps to the author), I can only think that they are just creating a bit of word porn. It looks pretty and exciting, it sounds totally cool, has great rhythm, and might even be considered “poetic”, but when analyzed, is often bereft of meaning or values, and hence in the end, leaves me unsatisfied, and ultimately, bored. 

Like a one trick pony.

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  1. Date: 1/14/2014 10:23:00 AM
    Hello!

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  1. Date: 1/13/2014 11:23:00 AM
    ahhh the one trick pony! #1 is to make yourself familiar with enough forms to chose the write one for the content of your verse #2 is to write within reason to the form you have chosen #3 if the content is boring it won't matter - how true Roy

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  1. Date: 1/13/2014 9:06:00 AM
    Ok, I re-translated the poem form its Latin forn with the help of many scholarly scholars and it seems I made a mistake below. The poem actually translates as so....Boogers is brown. Boogers is green. Boogers art salty. Perchance they clean. Thee diggest with thy thumb. Thee diggest with thy pinky. There art boogers in there. Thee startest to thinky. Thy father gets angry. When thou hast eaten thy boogers. Declares thy mother shant give thee...no more bedtime sugars.

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    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 1/13/2014 6:41:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Nosing/ through the blogs -/ The Booger man ---- my new blog series will be called mimicry. Haiku for you :D
    Aechtner Avatar Chris D. Aechtner Date: 1/13/2014 5:27:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Haaaaaa! Caleb, this is one of my favourite Soup poems. And now it is even translated from its original Redneck Latin. This poem is a masterpiece!
    Smith Avatar Caleb Smith Date: 1/13/2014 9:07:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    from its Latin form....typo
  1. Date: 1/13/2014 6:06:00 AM
    Roy, you stated: ( on the other end the schizophrenic semiotics of nonsense ) Please, explain that, sir! If you cannot, try to make a drawing of your thoughts! :) G.

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    A. V. Avatar Giorgio A. V. Date: 1/13/2014 7:45:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    The term "schizophrenic semiotics of nonsense" is wrong sir. Paper or no paper. The "semiotics" cannot be schizophrenic. (( semiotics = (philosophy) a philosophical theory of the functions of signs and symbols ))
    Jerden Avatar Roy Jerden Date: 1/13/2014 6:26:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    I will respond to this question because the answer is interesting from a poetry perspective. Some schizophrenic patients exhibit speech that superficially resembles poetic patterns, but which makes no sense. The complete research paper can be found here: http://www.academia.edu/1297774/Poetics_in_Schizophrenic_Language_Speech_Gesture_and_Biosemiotics
    A. V. Avatar Giorgio A. V. Date: 1/13/2014 6:17:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Final conclusion: Those "semiotics" give and take sire!
    A. V. Avatar Giorgio A. V. Date: 1/13/2014 6:15:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    (Like a one trick pony) Hmm.... What is the color of the pony, sire?
    A. V. Avatar Giorgio A. V. Date: 1/13/2014 6:13:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    ( So when does poetry pass the line of interesting, but meaningful wordplay and enter the tenebrous realm of nonsense? ) "....Interesting "but" meaningful...." Hmm.... ------- (tenebrous realm of nonsense) Please, define that, sir???
    A. V. Avatar Giorgio A. V. Date: 1/13/2014 6:10:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    (I suppose that there is a continuum of poetic wordplay) What is the physical meaning of a "continuum", according to thee, sire?
    A. V. Avatar Giorgio A. V. Date: 1/13/2014 6:08:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    (It's grammatical, but is nonsense, because it has no meaning.) You bet! :) G.
    A. V. Avatar Giorgio A. V. Date: 1/13/2014 6:07:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    You stated: (I can only think that they are just creating a bit of word porn.) My advice: Try NOT to think too much, sir!
  1. Date: 1/12/2014 6:08:00 PM
    Roy, I don't frequently use this type of wordplay, but have... I personally think its about taking language and bending its ear... I think of it like.. hmm... fantasy or science fiction. Prior to Star Trek, what was a Vulcan, a Klingon or a Tribble? I believe that a good poem of this sort can .. hmm.. create a world where these words are somehow not just understood by the intellect, but identified by emotion. I was inspired by Chris's On Wings of Moogsmoorwood and had some word play back for him Whispers of Moogsmoorwood was such a satisfying write for me, trying to stay true to a world created by another, adding to the language, keeping its heart, letting the pen dabble freely. I LOVED it!

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    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 1/12/2014 10:19:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    (cont) whether that poem be haiku or a sonnet, a ballade or a rondeau. Good poetry is more than spit and polish, it is heart and soul... hell, sometimes it is blood and tears.
    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 1/12/2014 10:17:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    I agree with you, Roy. I feel that a poet can write a verse that keeps to its form, has a fair share of devices, is grammatically flawless and yet, if this poem is overly rigid, puts form before voice or genuine emotion, the poem will fall flat.
    Jerden Avatar Roy Jerden Date: 1/12/2014 7:04:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Good point Cyndi. However, when one enters into a created world with its own lexicon, the expectations are different than in general poetry. I am a huge fan of SF and have been since I was 12, hence 55 years. I cut my teeth on Asimov, Norton, Bradbury, and Heinlein. I 'grok' you. Perhaps the essence of what I want to say is that style without substance is "All hat and no cattle" as we say back home.
  1. Date: 1/12/2014 11:08:00 AM
    Clarification: Intentional "Jabberwocky" can be quite amusing and a real "tour de farce". Loved the "Aficionadog" example of the type. It's the poems that try to be "deep" and "mysterious" through their wordplay that end up jumping the shark.

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    A. V. Avatar Giorgio A. V. Date: 1/12/2014 3:23:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Aficionadog is a really funny poem! Thank you! G.
    A. V. Avatar Giorgio A. V. Date: 1/12/2014 11:31:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    2) The model and surreal "idea", will often be metamorphosed to a logical interpretation that shapes itself according to our perception and experiences.
    A. V. Avatar Giorgio A. V. Date: 1/12/2014 11:30:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    I prefer Homer, Virgil, Dante, Goethe, Kazantzakis, Byron, Dickinson because of the reason of their thought, despite of their any literary composition. And a "surreal", semi-dark approach to poetry, was/is widely accepted in the 20th/21st Century European literature. The ideas then, are transformed to sentiments through surreal but elegant expressions that provoke the thought but do not offer an expected or predictable conclusion-end.
  1. Date: 1/12/2014 9:14:00 AM
    when I see this kind of poetry, I get so turned off. I can't even stand to look at it, let alone read it! if people are telling such poets that the poems ROCK and are amazing, it's very sad!! Cowboy poetry, on the other hand, can be mighty interesting!!

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    A. V. Avatar Giorgio A. V. Date: 1/12/2014 3:24:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Good point Andrea.
    Williams Avatar David Williams Date: 1/12/2014 9:31:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Hi Andrea yep Bob Hinshaw is a master at cowboy poetry...
  1. Date: 1/12/2014 8:41:00 AM
    Excellent Blog Roy...I fully agree...It is not much use trying to be clever with words if no-one understands and the poem then is lost...

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My Past Blog Posts

 
How to do a scansion of your poem to verify the meter
Date Posted: 8/19/2014 6:03:00 PM
Too Subtle?
Date Posted: 8/15/2014 1:39:00 PM
New Feature -Poet's Notes About the Poem
Date Posted: 8/2/2014 12:31:00 PM
Free Verse: Start here or finish here
Date Posted: 7/21/2014 7:04:00 PM
Bogus Entries in Contests
Date Posted: 7/19/2014 6:46:00 AM
Punctuation and Capitalization in Poetry
Date Posted: 7/18/2014 6:35:00 PM
About Poem/Poem Notes/Inspiration, etc.
Date Posted: 7/18/2014 8:17:00 AM
Bawdy Limericks II Judged
Date Posted: 7/6/2014 2:48:00 PM
To Footnote or Not to Footnote?
Date Posted: 7/3/2014 8:47:00 PM
User trying to set a password
Date Posted: 6/24/2014 10:01:00 PM
Centering, Bolding, and Italicizing in a Poem
Date Posted: 6/9/2014 9:51:00 PM
Bawdy Limerick Contest Complete
Date Posted: 6/7/2014 4:38:00 PM
Limerick Contest Update - Last chance
Date Posted: 5/27/2014 5:31:00 PM
Bonnie Parker's Poetry
Date Posted: 5/24/2014 2:48:00 PM
Limerick Contest Update
Date Posted: 5/22/2014 2:48:00 PM
Kudos on the Miltonic Sonnet Contest
Date Posted: 5/13/2014 4:06:00 PM
Limerick Contest
Date Posted: 5/4/2014 7:56:00 PM
Roy's Ramblings - The Final Invention
Date Posted: 5/4/2014 9:42:00 AM
Contest Enhancements I'd Like to See
Date Posted: 4/24/2014 10:12:00 AM
Age Test
Date Posted: 3/23/2014 8:44:00 PM
A couple of not so burning questions
Date Posted: 3/23/2014 12:23:00 PM
Some Contest Ideas - Feedback Requested
Date Posted: 3/15/2014 7:05:00 PM
Images for my Spring sonnet
Date Posted: 3/10/2014 7:56:00 PM
Bridge Over Troubled Water Contest Results
Date Posted: 3/9/2014 5:24:00 PM
And that's when the fight started...
Date Posted: 2/21/2014 9:34:00 AM

My Poems

123
Date PostedPoem TitleFormCategories
8/25/2014Russian PussyChastushkahumor,
8/23/2014Matryoshkan MetaphysicsHaibunhumor,
8/18/2014A Roll of Duct Tape - FootleFootlehumor,
8/10/2014The New OneBlank versedark,
8/5/2014Picket Tupp and Poteeta WheyQuatrainchild,children,
7/22/2014A Brush of WingsVersebird,
7/16/2014Great A'Tuin - the Giant Star TurtleFree versedeath,journey,stars,
7/13/2014Blood on the SaddleLimerickfunny,vacation,
7/8/2014Willow: A FableRhymechildren,death,dream,fant
6/30/2014Ragnarok: The StormEpyllionweather,
6/28/2014Dante's PathQuatrainspiritual,
6/11/2014Bill's DrillLimerickhumorous,
5/26/2014Albert EinsteinClerihewhumorous,science,
5/22/2014John Cougar MellencampClerihewbio,humorous,
5/19/2014SoupQuatrainpoetry,satire,
5/14/2014Into the SunlightHaikunature,
5/12/2014RainierHaikunature,
5/9/2014JanuariesHaikunature,
5/7/2014Jonah Falcon He's NotLimerickfunny,
5/6/2014The Well Traveled LinguistLimerickhumorous,
5/5/2014Raise the MastLimerickhumorous,
5/4/2014Are you glad to see me or is that just a wrinkleLimerickage,funny,
5/2/2014The Devil Can Cite Scripture For His PurposeRhymehate,religion,slam,
5/1/2014On Conspiracy TheoriesSonnetphilosophy,
4/28/2014Florida GoldLimerickfunny,
123

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Within a StormSonnetinspirational,
Sailing the Seas In A Pecan TreeRhymeadventure,old,
Soul of the PoetQuatrainfarewell,poems,poetess,
GenerationsEpicbirth,death,hope,life,
MuseFree versewords,writing,
Falling upwardRhymeanger,angst,bereavement,b
WordsRhymelove,words,song,song,
No Longer Mourn for Me When I Am DeadLyricdeath,faith,religious,

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