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  • Muhammad Ali spent years training to become the greatest boxer

  • the world had ever seen,

  • but only moments to create the shortest poem.

  • Ali captivated Harvard's graduating class in 1975

  • with his message of unity and friendship.

  • When he finished, the audience wanted more.

  • They wanted a poem.

  • Ali delivered what is considered the shortest poem ever.

  • "Me, we."

  • Or is it "me, weeee"?

  • No one's really sure.

  • Regardless, if these two words are a poem, then what exactly makes a poem a poem?

  • Poets themselves have struggled with this question,

  • often using metaphors to approximate a definition.

  • Is a poem a little machine?

  • A firework?

  • An echo?

  • A dream?

  • Poetry generally has certain recognizable characteristics.

  • One - poems emphasize language's musical qualities.

  • This can be achieved through rhyme, rhythm, and meter,

  • from the sonnets of Shakepeare,

  • to the odes of Confucius,

  • to the Sanskrit Vedas.

  • Two - poems use condensed language,

  • like literature with all the water wrung out of it.

  • Three - poems often feature intense feelings,

  • from Rumi's spiritual poetry

  • to Pablo Neruda's "Ode to an Onion."

  • Poetry, like art itself, has a way of challenging simple definitions.

  • While the rhythmic patterns of the earliest poems

  • were a way to remember stories even before the advent of writing,

  • a poem doesn't need to be lyrical.

  • Reinhardhl's “Apfel

  • and Eugen Gomringer's "silencio"

  • toe the line between visual art and poetry.

  • Meanwhile, E.E. Cummings wrote poems whose shapes were as important

  • as the words themselves,

  • in this case amplifying the sad loneliness of a single leaf falling through space.

  • If the visual nature of poetry faded into the background,

  • perhaps we'd be left with music,

  • and that's an area that people love to debate.

  • Are songs poems?

  • Many don't regard songwriters as poets in a literary sense,

  • but lyrics from artists like Paul Simon,

  • Bob Dylan

  • Tupac Shakur

  • often hold up even without the music.

  • In rap, poet elements like rhyme, rhythm, and imagery

  • are inseparable from the form.

  • Take this lyric from the Notorious B.I.G.

  • "I can hear sweat trickling down your cheek

  • Your heartbeat sound like Sasquatch feet

  • Thundering, shaking the concrete."

  • So far, all the examples we've seen have had line breaks.

  • We can even imagine the two words of Ali's poem organizing in the air -

  • Me, We.

  • Poetry has a shape that we can usually recognize.

  • Its line breaks help readers navigate the rhythms of a poem.

  • But what if those line breaks disappeared?

  • Would it lose its essence as a poem?

  • Maybe not.

  • Enter the prose poem.

  • Prose poems use vivid images and wordplay

  • but are formatted like paragraphs.

  • When we look at poetry less as a form and more as a concept,

  • we can see the poetic all around us:

  • spiritual hymns,

  • the speeches of orators like Martin Luther King, Jr.,

  • JFK,

  • and Winston Churchill,

  • and surprising places like social media.

  • In 2010, journalist Joanna Smith tweeted updates from the earthquake in Haiti.

  • "Was in b-room getting dressed when heard my name.

  • Tremor. Ran outside through sliding door.

  • All still now. Safe. Roosters crowing."

  • Smith uses language in a way that is powerful, direct,

  • and filled with vivid images.

  • Compare her language to a haiku,

  • the ancient Japanese poetic form that emphasizes bursts of brief intensity

  • with just three lines of five, seven, and five syllables.

  • The waters of poetry run wide and deep.

  • Poetry has evolved over time,

  • and perhaps now more than ever,

  • the line between poetry, prose, song, and visual art has blurred.

  • However, one thing has not changed.

  • The word poetry actually began in verb form,

  • coming from the ancient Greek poiesis, which means to create.

  • Poets, like craftsman, still work with the raw materials of the world

  • to forge new understandings

  • and comment on what it is to be human in a way only humans can.

  • Dartmouth researchers tested this idea by asking robots to pen poetry.

  • A panel of judges sorted through stacks of sonnets

  • to see if they could distinguish those made by man and machine.

  • You may be happy to know that while scientists have successfully

  • used artificial intelligence in manufacturing,

  • medicine,

  • and even journalism,

  • poetry is a different story.

  • The robots were caught red-handed 100% of the time.

Muhammad Ali spent years training to become the greatest boxer

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TED-ED】詩を......詩にするものとは?- メリッサ・コバックス (【TED-Ed】What makes a poem … a poem? - Melissa Kovacs)

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    April Lu に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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