Sunday, 28 February 2010

Poem of the month

February is almost over, but there is just enough time for me to share my poem of the month. In 2001 I studied English at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. One of my courses was a linguistics course led by professor Gerard Steen. I've always been a bit of a romantic and I think I picked the course because it had love stories in its title. However, it turned out to be very different from what I had expected. The course was mainly about rhetorical structure theory (RST) and all the students took part in a project where we applied this theory to love poetry. I was much more interested in love poetry than linguistics, but the project turned out to be very interesting. One of the poems I worked on was "Come. And be my baby" by Maya Angelou. Almost ten years later I have to admit that I have forgotten most of what I learnt about RST, but I still know this poem by heart:

The highway is full of big cars
going nowhere fast
And folks is smoking anything that'll burn
Some people wrap their lives around a cocktail glass
And you sit wondering
where you're going to turn.
I got it.
Come. And be my baby.

Some prophets say the world is gonna end tomorrow
But others say we've got a week or two
The paper is full of every kind of blooming horror
And you sit wondering
what you're gonna do.
I got it.
Come. And be my baby.

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