Friday, January 09, 2009

Let's all 'pluck the day'

Don't seek, my friend, we cannot say what end's in store for you, for me: don't trust in vague astrology. Better to shoulder what will be, whether you soon will die, or stay to watch the shore exhaust the sea. So drink some wine while your hours flee, put small trust in posterity, and prune your hopes; but pluck the day. - Horace (65-8BC), Pluck the Day, courtesy of
THIS story starts with wise words of one of the most celebrated Roman poets and will end about 2000 years ago later many thousand kilometres from Rome and in Queensland, Australia, where another seer has dropped (rather, dispensed with) the toga and stone slabs and is etching his own niche in poetry and history.
What has poetry to do with the ‘marvellous community of classified advertising’, you may ask. Well, poetry is everywhere.
Rhyme and rhythm are an ‘in-ya-face’ feature of modern life. Turn on the TV, radio or computer, or scan the pages of any newspaper or magazine and a poetic touch will tickle your heart.

OVER the years, many such statements have leapt from the small print of the classifieds to give me a cardiac caress.
Matters of the heart have been close to my ventricle for the past year since an unusual bump on an ECG print-out led to the diagnosis of a rare condition of a heart nerve, Brugada syndrome (, and the implant of an internal cardiac device (ICD), a defibrillator, to protect against sudden fatal arrhythmia.
But don’t celebrate too soon. The doctors say I now have better chances of surviving a heart event than the vast majority of the population and with above-average general heart health may live to 94 without the defibrillator ever delivering the life-saving shock.

THE sentimentality of the festive season - as always, walking in the shadows of the smiles, jolly handshakes, hugs and kisses – may still partly explain my current poetic bent.
The heart is long regarded as the seat of emotion, although some argue it is, in fact, the liver, which also takes a pounding each December-January. So you can see, quite a few influences are at work today, although the truth may be I just needed something to write about, maybe looking for rhythm (ha).
But I just love that Horace poem, translated from Latin, in which says the title was ‘Carpe diem’.
Like most good poems it seems written ‘just for me’. Even the ‘pluck’ part. I am always plucking away at my guitar – again looking for that steady rhythm, I guess.

BACK to poetry and the classifieds. Just have a browse through the pages of any edition of any newspaper and you’ll get to peep inside someone’s heart (or liver?).
It’s worth the effort to see some inventive trading names in the business section but the personal columns can be a real hoot and you never really know when someone will drop a poetic word or two into their for-sale notice.
Isn’t it just so great that a word or two, plucked from a sea of small type, can make a highlight of your day?
Now, I have all that off my chest to start the new year, I can introduce the Horace of Queensland

No comments:

Post a Comment