16 June 2013

Oh blithersome couturier

In the on-line magazine Commentary, the writer John Podhoretz has a beautiful tribute to his sister, Rachel Abrams, who died earlier this month of cancer.  The article is worth reading in its entirety.  One part I particularly enjoyed was a bit of poetry that Mr. Podhoretz shared from his sister Rachel.   It seems that she was none too fond of a certain Washington writer, which she expertly dispatched in these few lines of poetry:
Oh blithersome couturier of wordifactious spewage,
Your loathsome predilection for effluxicating brewage
Has found its proper gallery in hurricanus sewage.
Oh odious splendiferatious tonguer of all piety,
Ambassador-at-very-large for platitudiniety,
Your prosody’s ontology’s all Sartric nullibiety.
It’s thus we say, with due respect, and many years’ assizing:
Oh, literary colporteur, the words of your devising
Appear to land upon the page without palpable revising
St. Thomas says that one way you know an expert in a given activity is that he can make mistakes on purpose.  The novice pianist hits the wrong key because he doesn't yet have the art mastered.  When the virtuoso hits the wrong key, it's only because he is doing it on purpose.  Moreover, the expert's ability to derivate creatively from the usual rules of note and meter to create an even more profound musical effect shows how truly talented he is.  The same can be true for language. This woman was a virtuoso of the English language.

The whole article is available here, and definitely worth a read.  Requiescat in pace.