Happiness from 1-5

I feel so happy today for a number of reasons. I figure, I better write it out before it flutters away, so I'm using the last ten minutes of my lunch break to compose this post.

First off, it's early fall--the sun is shining and the air is cool. Secondly, I can finally wear the meadow-green wool sweater I bought in Ireland. Thirdly, I am done reading manuscripts for the writing contest. Fourthly, I slept in every day this past weekend and, by the time I had energy to do anything, I was forced to spend copious amounts of time on the couch watching DVDs because my husband was working, and I had no other plans. It was boring, but now I feel good! Fifthly and lastly, I just read the first chapter of Nicholson Baker's new novel, The Anthologist, which is why I'm writing like this.

Baker has done Introduction to Creative Writing teachers across the country an enormous favor. The first chapter concerns itself with the main character and narrator Paul Chowder's musings on meter, and his argument that iambic tetrameter rather than pentameter (aka blank verse) is the true foundation of English poetry. Now, what I just described probably caused certain parts of your brain to cease functioning, but the way Chowder/Baker talks about it is just marvelous:

"People are going to feed you all kinds of oyster crackers about iambic pentameter. They're going to say, Oh ho ho, iambic pentameter! The centrality of the five-stress line! Because 'pent' is five in Babylonian, and five is the number of fingers on your hand, and five is the number of slices of American cheese you can eat in one sitting."

I can't wait to read the rest. And the next time I teach an Introduction to Creative Writing class, I'll be assigning Chapter 1, at the very least.

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