Thursday, April 2, 2009

How to Be a Romantic Poet, Part Three

If Tip #2 did not work for you, try following tip #3: Cultivate a good working relationship with Death.

It is somewhat difficult to do this, since Death is not said to be a terribly communicative fellow, but this will help you in the long run: the Grim Reaper can’t say much, but you can! Wax poetic about your own demise as much as possible. Again, a wasting disease is an invaluable tool, since it gives you plenty of time to compose. If you can, drink out of the skull of a medieval monk, just to prove you're that hard core. Or, if you like kill off a couple of characters in your poems in horrible and agonizing ways. If you are loath to do so, kill off an albatross instead and see what happens (tip 3a: if you do shoot an albatross and your enraged shipmates tie it around your neck, don't be alarmed if your shipmates' relationship with death is much different than your own, to whit, They Become Zombies. This is perfectly normal thing to happen to a Romantic visionary.)

The sight of a graveyard at midnight, or any kind of ruin should send you into a tizzy of poetic feeling. If it doesn’t, fake it and talk about how very inspiring it is to you to be so constantly reminded of your own impermanence and the immortality of your poetry before lapsing into a dreamy melancholy. Remember, suicide must always be an option, even if you are not very serious about following through.

“I should, many a good day, have blown my brains out,” reflected Byron, “but for the recollection that it would have given pleasure to my mother-in-law.”

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