Today on My Poetic Side, we look at a 150-year-old poem that is as relevant today as it was when first written and the unofficial poet of Twitter”s poem of the day.
Word of the Year Selection Summed up in 150-Year-Old Poem
At the beginning of December every year, the major dictionary publishers come together to announce their selections for “word of the year”. These words vary from one dictionary to the next and, surprisingly, are usually not the same across the board.
“Gaslighting” was the word of choice for Merriam-Webster, with the Cambridge Dictionary opting for “Homer”. This word was one of the most looked up of the year following its inclusion as the Wordle answer on 5th May. Oxford Dictionary, on the other hand, has not chosen a word, they are offering their readers the choice of metaverse, #IStandWith, and Goblin Mode and asking them to vote for their favourite.
Whilst there probably isn’t a Poem of the Year, one columnist believes this year”s choice of words really could be considered to be summed up in the Emily Dickinson poem that is best known by the first line “Tell all the truth but tell it slant -”, The poem which is believed to have been written in 1872, but some experts argue may well have been written much earlier actually has no title as Dickinson chose not to give it one and is always referred to by its first line. It was not published until 1886, after the poet”s death. It could, however be said that this 150-year-old poem really speaks to us today in 2022.
What is it that columnist Chris Schillig believes makes this poem”s words resonate so clearly with us all this time later? Well, it’s still as important now as it was then to be diplomatic when it comes to speaking the truth. “Slant” is often key when it comes to telling the truth. Many a partner will have used this tool when facing the dreaded question, “How does this look” or “do you like my new dress/hairstyle etc.”. The world may not collapse as a result of the truthful answer to these questions, but a relationship may certainly find itself on the rocks without slant.
In essence, what Dickinson’s poem does is speak to those who have not been dazzled by promises that are false and serves to remind those who have on how they should speak. We live in a world of dissatisfaction where people are far less uncomfortable about the idea of speaking out, but there is something to be said for reigning in opinions and keeping more extreme views to oneself just as much today as 150 years ago.
Whamageddon – Poetry Fans be Warned?
Every year thousands of individuals take part in Whamageddon. In fact, there are even official rules – google it if you don’t believe me. From 1st December to Christmas, they try to last as long as possible without hearing Wham’s Christmas classic “Last Christmas”.
Fortunately, covers and remixes and all things similar do not count you will be pleased to note, so Brian Bilston, the unofficial poet of Twitter, and his poem for 7th December is perfectly safe. In fact, you can even read “Last Christmas I ate A la Carte” whilst humming the tune as you look at the poet”s take on how finances are playing a huge role in how people are changing their plans this Christmas.