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Poetry

A discussion of word histories and origins.

Poetry

Postby Perry » Thu Jan 11, 2007 9:13 am

I was wondering about this this morning. We have this noun poetry for the genre. Then there is the adjective poetic. So why is a single work of poetry a poem? Just how did m replace the t, and why is the r dropped from the adjective?
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Postby gailr » Thu Jan 11, 2007 6:13 pm

Good question, Perry...

Also, why no simple verb form? We have to resort to something like: He perpetrated a poem.
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Postby sluggo » Thu Jan 11, 2007 10:22 pm

gailr wrote:Good question, Perry...

Also, why no simple verb form? We have to resort to something like: He perpetrated a poem.


To poe (or not to poe)?

Also also, what's the term for the poet's counterpart who writes prose? Proseactiveist?
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Postby Stargzer » Thu Jan 11, 2007 10:42 pm

Let's check in with the Online Etymology Dictionary:

poesy
c.1300, from O.Fr. poesie, from V.L. poesia, from L. poesis "poetry," from Gk. poesis "composition, poetry," from poein "to make or compose" (see poet).


poem
1548 (replacing poesy, q.v.), from M.Fr. poème (14c.), from L. poema "verse, poetry," from Gk. poema "thing made or created, fiction, poetical work," from poein "to make or compose" (see poet).


poet
c.1300, from O.Fr. poete (12c.), from L. poeta "poet, author," from Gk. poetes "maker, author, poet," from poein "to make or compose," from PIE *kwoiwo- "making," from base *qwei- "to make" (cf. Skt. cinoti "heaping up, piling up," O.C.S. cinu "act, deed, order"). Replaced O.E. scop (which survives in scoff). Used in 14c., as in classical langs., for all sorts of writers or composers of works of literature.


poetry
c.1384, from O.Fr. poetrie (13c.), from M.L. poetria (c.650), from L. poeta (see poet). In classical L., poetria meant "poetess." Eng. lacks a true verb form in this group of words, though poeticize (1804), poetize (1581, from Fr. poétiser), and poetrize (1602) all have been tried.


poetic
1530, from M.Fr. poetique, from L. poeticus, from Gk. poietikos "pertaining to poetry," lit. "creative, productive," from poietos "made," verbal adj. of poiein "to make" (see poet). Poetic justice "ideal justice as portrayed in plays and stories" is from 1679.


poetaster
1599, from M.Fr. poetastre (1554), from L. poeta (poet) + -aster, diminutive (pejorative) suffix.


It looks like poesy, poem, poet, and poetic are derived from four different Latin/Green roots: poesis/poesis, poema/poema, poeta/poetes, and poeticus/poietikos, respectively, although they all seem to derive from a single root, poein/poiein.
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Postby Perry » Fri Jan 12, 2007 4:59 pm

Even with those antlers, he still has oxygen feeding those clever little grey cells.
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Postby gailr » Fri Jan 12, 2007 9:38 pm

Stargzer wrote:poetaster
1599, from M.Fr. poetastre (1554), from L. poeta (poet) + -aster, diminutive (pejorative) suffix.

Should we give snaps to poetasters? Nevermore! Nevermore!
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Postby Stargzer » Sat Jan 13, 2007 1:28 am

gailr wrote:
Stargzer wrote:poetaster
1599, from M.Fr. poetastre (1554), from L. poeta (poet) + -aster, diminutive (pejorative) suffix.

Should we give snaps to poetasters? Nevermore! Nevermore!


Snaps, no; schnaps, perhaps.
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Postby Stargzer » Sat Jan 13, 2007 1:30 am

Perry wrote:Even with those antlers, he still has oxygen feeding those clever little grey cells.


Actually, one evening before Christmas, I stopped by the local tavern and as I headed for the rest room, a woman grabbed my arm and said "Hey, man! Nice rack!" "Thanks!" I laughed back.
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Postby skinem » Sat Jan 13, 2007 12:28 pm

This thread reminds me of an e-mail I received recently...

Why I flunked English

Date: 20 Nov 2006 17:36:19 EST

Let's face it: English is a crazy language.

There is no egg in eggplant or ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins were not invented in England nor french fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies, while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square, and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig. And why is it that writers write, but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce, and hammers don't ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So, one moose, 2 meese? One index, two indices? Is cheese the plural of choose? If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

In what language do people recite at a play, and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell? Park on driveways and drive on parkways? How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? How can the weather be hot as hell one day and cold as hell another? When a house burns up, it burns down. You fill in a form by filling it out and an alarm clock goes off by going on. When the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

And why, when I wind up my watch, I start it, but when I wind up this essay, I end it? Now I know why I flunked English. It's not my fault-the silly language doesn't quite know whether it's coming or going.
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Postby Bailey » Sat Jan 13, 2007 12:52 pm

what does a humanitarian eat?

They say they serve man, on a plate?

mark sci-fi-addict Bailey

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Postby skinem » Sat Jan 13, 2007 1:10 pm

Bailey wrote:
what does a humanitarian eat?

They say they serve man, on a plate?

mark sci-fi-addict Bailey


Ahh...on of my favorite Twilight Zones...
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Postby Bailey » Sat Jan 13, 2007 3:38 pm

Actually I think ol Rod stole the idea from an ancient [50's era?] book I read in my [earliest]nonage, I was sci-fi before sci-fi was "in", when the only books/movies/stories you could get featured strange tenacly monsters terrorizing half-clad buxom ladies in brass bras, on their covers. Suitable only for crazed pre-teen boys and tom-boy girls.
At any rate I remember it took longer than a half-hour to find out it was a cook-book, the story was more drawn out.

mark doodoo-doodoo Bailey

I watched a recent marathon, where? the sci-fi channel oc. It even featured some of the old commercials and TV spots. You remember when the commercials were only a minute or two long? Any way Rod did a couple of commercials for certain cigarettes, Luckies? Camels? unfiltered of course. and something called Oasis... And the poor man died of Lung cancer.

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Postby anders » Sun Jan 14, 2007 9:29 pm

skinem wrote:One index, two indices?

Yes.
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Postby Stargzer » Mon Jan 15, 2007 1:42 am

Bailey wrote:Actually I think ol Rod stole the idea from an ancient [50's era?] book I read in my [earliest]nonage, I was sci-fi before sci-fi was "in", ...


Actually, Damon Knight is given writing credit for the story. Serling for the screenplay. Wikipedia says the original short story was given a retroactive Hugo Award for Best Short Story of 1951.

Any way Rod did a couple of commercials for certain cigarettes, Luckies? Camels? unfiltered of course. and something called Oasis... And the poor man died of Lung cancer.


And this surprises you? :wink: Yet, it was a tragic loss for Television.



I think maybe the best sci-fi short story of all time was Tom Godwin's The Cold Equations, but I've never forgiven the SciFi Channel for the way they butchered it, and probably never will.

But hey! I never knew it was an episode of the Twilight Zone during it's revival!
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Postby sluggo » Mon Jan 15, 2007 3:27 am

Bailey wrote:....? Any way Rod did a couple of commercials for certain cigarettes, Luckies? Camels? unfiltered of course. and something called Oasis... And the poor man died of Lung cancer.


I thought he keeled over with a heart attack while mowing his lawn at the age of 46, but then I never remember details...

anders wrote:
skinem wrote:One index, two indices?

Yes.


Yeah, I didn't get that part either...
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