Monday, November 23, 2009

ELR Fan Mail #2

Today’s letter comes from the Society for Haiku Preservation in the English Language, a prestigious yet apparently misguided poetry group. Read on:

Dear Esoteric Literary Reference,

Congratulations! We at the Society for Haiku Preservation in the English Language (SHPEL) have discovered your wonderful haiku weblog and want to extend to you an offer for membership in our group.

The aim of the Society is to keep the oft-maligned art of haiku in the forefront of Anglophone Letters. In today’s world of instant messages and electronic or “e” mail, language in general and poetry specifically have been relegated to a largely utilitarian function. Gone are the glory days when words were words for words’ sake. Ask a child of today what a poem is and he’s less likely to know the answer than to tilt his head like a confused dog...provided he could tear his attention away from his Video-Game Box.

Your weblog exemplifies our goals. It seems to be devoted entirely to haiku. True, our committee has noted that on occasion you post a prose entry or two, but by and large you limit your posts to haiku. It’s practically all you post. It is because of your dedication to post only haiku that we would love to count the name Steve Theiss among our members’ ranks.

Awaiting your favorable response,
The Society for Haiku Preservation in the English Language


Look, it’s nice of you to offer me membership in your club or whatever, but I think you got the wrong idea. We at Esoteric Literary Reference (and by “we” I do mean “I”) don’t try to post only haikus. We try to post other stuff. Like this letter, for instance.

In fact, we mostly like haikus because they’re shorter than most other things. Haiku Wednesdays would be Screenplay Wednesdays if screenplays were only three lines long.

So thanks for the offer, but Esoteric Literary Reference has to politely decline. We’re sure you’re a nice club and maybe you even have fun parties. Yeah. A bunch of nerdy poets standing around drinking deliberately obscure drinks (“Actually, Alan, this sidecar would have been better if they'd mixed it with Grand Marnier instead of Cointreau...”) and talking about how it's "genius" that Keats isn’t pronounced like Yeats. I bet that’s a blast.

Happy nerding,
Esoteric Literary Reference Letter Reply Dept.

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