Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Poets Scale (based on Beaufort Wind Scale)

Perusing the poetry stacks at a used book store the other day, I was impressed by all the volumes written by poets I had never read. Or knew.

Impressed? More like depressed. Because I quickly realized that here were poets who had written well enough to be appreciated enough by someone who wished enough to publish their book. Not a chapbook, but a real hardcover book, published by a real press, many of which were familiar to me. But I have never been even of that forgotten crowd.

So I began to wonder what is the measuring scale of poets, and finding none, at least in a perfunctory search, I decided to begin the work of developing one, based on the Beaufort Wind Scale. (Suggestions, corrections, disagreements, and approvals are welcome: this scale is a work in progress.) At this point, I merely have the names, but I think they may be of such obvious definition, especially when accompanied by the Beaufort Scale, that no more explanation is needed.

light air------------poetaster

light breeze--------rhymer / versemonger
gentle breeze------rhymester / verseman
moderate breeze--versifier

fresh breeze-------versesmith
strong breeze------metrist / vers-librist
moderate gale-----troubadour
fresh gale----------poet
strong gale--------minor poet

whole gale---------major minor poet

storm-------------major poet

And after all this groundwork, I decided to send up a weather plane and measure my own winds. In all honesty, and no modesty, I decided I’m a versesmith. Maybe with some sympathy and tea I could be considered a metrist / vers-librist. But I am aspiring to be a troubadour. That shall be my goal this fall/winter/spring, now that the Summer of Jimmy Buffet is passing into recent memory.


Ivy said...

A depressing stack of poetry books does have its good side -- at least, poor, aspiring poets can afford them then. And I admire your Poets Scale. Clever! :-)

Robert said...

Hmm. Do you have a place for a lyricist?

Greg said...

Thanks Ivy, and Robert, the more I think about it, lyricist would be a fine heading to metricist / vers-librist. Now if I could think of something other than troubador, and an appropriate modifier for the lone poet