“PRO” TIP: HOW TO CUT DOWN ON MANUSCRIPT ERRORS; AND/OR, HOW TO GET MORE JOY OUT OF POETRY — GUARANTEED! (QUICK TIP #4)
Even though I have had two or three “PRO” Tips lined up in draft form for quite a while now, I feel compelled to get this one out before them, even though (Hmm, how ’bout that – two “even thoughs” in one sentence. If this redundant redundancy offends you, please submit your redundant complaints about the excessive redundancy in the sentence with the redundancy to my Department of Redundancy Department.) the motivation to write it overcame me after reading the comments to Leave it to me, a poem I recently published.
Now, I’m not going to discuss what the poem means to me (Hint: Insight to what the poem, or anything I publish here, just may mean to me can be gleaned from how I how I tagged it. (Confession: “The Essence of Tagging” is one of the “Pro” Tips lined up on deck.)) because – and my apologies for getting all Eddie Vedder on you here but…
- I really do believe that once something penned is published or something art-ed is shown, then it no longer belongs to its creator, it now belongs to – yes, I really am going to say this because I mean it – the Universe…the Infinite & Eternal Soul. Within all that infinite madness is Everyone. And within Everyone is both You and you. Once I hit that publish button, that poem belongs to you…at least (at most?) in the metaphysical, the spiritual, sense. And for the Poet, or for anyone for that matter, to try to define or to lay claim to “meaning” to something that no longer belongs to just him, to just her, to just me, then that is a manner of thievery. Theft of The Most High. Only you can claim meaning to what it is you observe.
But of course it’s still fun to interpret and to discuss and to argue in the most intellectual of manner such altruistic Eternal Soul type motivations and potentialities.
Which is why it was fun for me to see Paul Xylinides’s response to the poem.
Now, I don’t know if you’re familiar with any of Paul’s work, but, as I see it, he’s either a really smart, artsy-fartsy dude or he’s really good at faking it. I’m pretty sure it’s the prior, but either way he always makes me think a little bit harder than I’m used to thinking. And his response to the poem was no exception.
Short story long (this is supposed to be a Quick Tip after all), he contrasts my poem with Wordsworth’s “Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood.”
I ain’t gonna lie – it’s pushing thirty years since I read Wordsworth, and that was during an English Verse course I took at a community college in Virgina. I had no clue what the poem Paul referenced was about, other than what I could pull from the title. So, being the Slave to Ego that I am, I quickly looked it up so I could read it so I could sound smart in my reply to his reply.
Dang that’s a long poem…
Long poems and my short attention span (thanks Twitter!) don’t go together very well…
I kept reading and drifting…reading and drifting…
Nothing was sinking in.
So here’s what I did next…
And what I did next is what I always do when I need to get outside something I want to read so I can focus more deeply on its meaning.
I went to http://www.yakitome.com…
Yup, you heard me correctly – yakitome.com.
That site is a godsend.
All I had to do was to copy the text of the poem, paste it into site’s text block, and then click the “Run Text To Speech” button and…
Boom! Instant audio!
Unfortunately, WordPress won’t let me upload mp3 files without an upgrade (Thanks, Matt! It’s not like you’re not already a bazillionaire…could at least let me upload mp3 files on the cheap. Anyway…), so I had to download the file to my computer, upload it soundcloud.com and then copy its soundcloud embed file into this post.
Yes, I went to all that painstaking trouble just for you.
Because, you know what, you’re awesome…
And whenever I use yakitome, I always use Audrey’s voice because she sounds like a Brit…and you know how we Americans go ga ga over an English accent.
And besides, it’s Wordsworth so why wouldn’t I choose a Brit robot voice?
So now I can listen to that exceedingly long poem with much more focus…and with much more enjoyment.
And now, so can you.
But I mostly use yakitome not for poetry, but as my own little robot editor.
And here, I believe, is the true essence of this post (but I’m not laying claim to its meaning by any means! No, no…that’s up for you to decide. Know what I mean?)
After I get my significant pieces of writing spiffed up and shining to the point where I think they are just about presentable enough for me to present them to the world, before I do, I create a yakitome sound file out of them and let Audrey read them back to me.
Robots don’t lie.
At least Audrey doesn’t.
If there is a word misspelled (but not necessarily misused) or if a sentence runs on or if it just isn’t written well, Audrey is gonna tell me the truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me Gods of the Pen.
She, and all her other yakitome buddy robots are the most wonderful, and most real, Beta Readers.
I would marry them if I could, but, we all know how that one ends…
PS: If you find any errors in this post it’s probably because I didn’t take the time to have Audrey proof it first.
I know, I know…
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