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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Poetry in action

By Randy A. Salas


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) Have you ever taken an online personality quiz? Yes, they're just for fun, but surely you've wondered how accurate they are, even as they insist that you'd be a St. Bernard if you were a dog or Mr. Spock if you were a "Star Trek" character. The latest such quiz to be sent Web Search's way -- What Poetry Form Are You? -- provided perfect fodder for a column about April being National Poetry Month. I was in the middle of taking it when a bona-fide poet happened by the Web Search office. You can probably guess where this is going.

The setup

British poet Josephine Dickinson recently released her first U.S. book, "Silence Fell," published with the help of Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet Galway Kinnell. The two writers appeared last week in the Twin Cities as part of Talking Volumes, which is co-sponsored by the Star Tribune. So it wasn't a complete surprise when Dickinson turned up in the newsroom in the company of the newspaper's book editor, Sally Williams. Upon meeting Dickinson, whom I had seen at the literary event, I told the two women about the quiz, What Poetry Form Are You? Williams lit up. Wouldn't it be fun, she said, if Dickinson took the quiz? Capital idea. The poet good-naturedly accepted the invitation.

The quiz

One quality that makes What Poetry Form Are You? (quiz.ravenblack.net/poeticform.pl) such an endearing quiz is the loopy questions that it asks. "What parts of the 'Lord of the Rings' books did you skip?"Which of the little piggies behaved in a sensible manner?"The best sort of food comes in ... ?" There's no way to decipher what it's trying to find out, which is probably the point. It could be random, for all the quiz-taker knows. But Dickinson gamely worked through the 10 questions with a constant smile and occasional befuddlement. She once started to read "The Lord of the Rings" books but could never finish, so she answered, "I haven't read it yet." She thought the little piggy who cried, "Wee, wee, wee," all the way home acted most sensibly. The best kind of food definitely comes in lumps, said the poet, who runs a sheep farm. The other seven questions included one in which she expressed concern that dropping even a cream bun off of a 66-story building might hurt someone below. Then we pressed the button that said, "What Poetry Form Am I?"

The result

Dickinson's answer came in the form of a poem, as the result always does with this delightful quiz:

I'm the lai, with no sort Of grave, solemn thought, And I Will never be caught By miseries sought, Nor sigh; Where battles are fought Or arguments brought, I fly.

Dickinson, Williams and I looked at one another with the same thought: "What's a lai?" We looked it up online and found that it was a narrative form popular in northern Europe in the 13th and 14th centuries. Five-syllable couplets are followed by a two-syllable line, but rhyme patterns do not repeat among its indeterminate number of stanzas. The answer is in the form of a lai. Dickinson seemed delighted by the result. She and Williams agreed that the answer described the spirit of her poetry, if not its form.

The follow-up

So how does a nonpoet -- that would be your friendly Web Search geek -- fare in matters of poetry forms? According to the first two lines of my lengthy answer:

I am heroic couplets; most precise And fond of order. Planned and structured. Nice.

So, I'm a heroic couplet. Based on the question about the little piggies, I guess that's better than being a heroic cutlet.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Randy A. Salas is a columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Do you have a favorite Web site or a question about how to find something on the Internet? Send a note by clicking here.



Previously:

In the news
That's life
Download this
Nature blogs spring to life
That was then; this is now
Is your number up?
Listen up
“300” more than Ancient history
Looking for E.T.
Put on a smiley face :-)
Speaking of accents
In the news
AnsaThat finds its answer
On top of the world
Another day, another dollar
Prank you very much
How much is enough?
Sound off
Readers have questions, concerns
Quick, give me a word
Driving you crazy
The joy of Bob Ross
Online goes prime time
You don't need to know this
Remembering the creator of Scooby-Doo
Do-it-yourself art
‘Leave me alone!’
Special deliveries
Weight-loss journeys
Daily routines
Working without a map
Just you watch!
New year, new diet
Your mail answered
Chatting: Central characters
Wonders never cease
Secret messages
For your consideration
Freaky food forays
Best of 2006 online
Missed marketing
H.G. Wells’ legacy endures
A quest for dragons
E-mails you've sent
In the news
It's free!
Websites that help you find books that are right for you
Coping with illness
Some serious face time
Some serious face time
In reply to your e-mail ...
Turn your handwriting into a computer-based font that will allow you to churn out homespun greetings
Music for everyone
'Elusive planet' can be viewed clearly from Earth with the naked eye
Central characters
E-mail @ 35
Idle chatter
Funny money
Classic artwork in motion
For an unusual Thanksgiving
Your slip is showing
Best of the worst
Test your mind power
Remain anonymous

© 2007, Star Tribune Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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