Poetry Spam

Back in fourth grade we studied poetry for a while.  I guess they figured they’d shoved enough metric system down our throats so they’d let us be creative.  It wasn’t bad, all things considered, especially once you got past the need to rhyme and you could just sort of free associate and impress the teacher.  They even put together a book of some of our poetry … ah, well “book” is being a bit gracious – it was more a mimeographed handout with construction paper covers.  I had a poem or two in the book but that’s not what I remember best about it.  See, one of the assignments we had was to write a poem about what we’d see with our third eye.  Yeah, you read that right – our third eye.  Hey, it was a far groovier time, coming on the heels of TM and biorhythms and waterbeds and free love and all that New Age BS, and I guess the TA who was instructing us for our poetry lessons got this bright idea to tell us all about Eastern mysticism and stuff.  Of course, the way she described it, these meditating dudes over in India would drill holes in their foreheads, giving them ESP.  It sounded cool enough and we all wrote our little poems about it.  Of course, being ten, the concept of head hole drilling and psychic powers conjured up more Marvel Secret Origins than enlightenment and nirvana.  One kid, Stephan, imagined that the third eye idea was not limited to the sense of sight and wrote a wild little piece that I still quote as a delicious non sequitur to this day.  Mind you, the wonder of it all is predicated on the mere fact that there was a typo in his poem, spell check and the PC being in the not too distant future and, thus, not available.  And so, I present to you now that line, that memorable line, from that fourth grade poetry collection:

And with my third ear I could hear three ducks swimming in a tur.

No, it doesn’t make sense, even without the typo, but I love it nonetheless.  It’s one of those things, an inside joke in a way, that just makes me smile regardless of what else is going on.  And, to me, that sums up poetry in a nutshell.  And with my third ear I could hear three ducks swimming in a tur.  Perfect!  Just perfect!

But why am I relating this memory of decades and poetry past?  It’s fun, for a start.  And an easy pin for helping deflate the pretentiousness of all and sundry.  Now, it’s my hope that you too can use it to fend off the nattering nabobs of negativism in your own life.  Perhaps we can turn it into a rallying cry for all that ails and fails.  Maybe it can become a meme of sorts, turn it into a new rickroll or “All your base are belong to us.” 

So spread the word, please.  And with my third ear I could hear three ducks swimming in a tur.  Shout it at the top of your lungs. Whisper it to strangers on the bus. Use it as your catch-all greeting when signing birthday cards.  Just get it out there.  I won’t rest until it’s on every pair of lips that speak English and many that don’t.  Heck, I’d like to see it emblazoned on t-shirts in Japan and chanted by extremists in the Middle East.  Ultimately, it needs to be a caption on I Can Has Cheezburger or #1 on a Letterman Top Ten list to reach ubiquitous pop culture saturation.

And with my third ear I could hear three ducks swimming in a tur. Trending now.

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