writing / prose
According to The American Academy of Poets, “Poetry is a human fundamental, like music. It predates literacy and precedes prose in all literatures.” All of the oldest writing – The Epic of Gilgamesh (2100 B.C), the Sanskrit scriptures (which some Hindu scholars declare to be from 10,000 B.C.), Homer’s epics (circa 750 B.C.) – are poetry. Rhymes and rhythm (meter) helped folks memorize wonderful stories and revelations. In India, people memorized enormous books and passed down these memories since time immemorial.
“The earliest English prose work, the law code of King Aethelberht I of Kent, was written within a few years of the arrival in England (597) of St. Augustine of Canterbury. Other 7th and 8th century prose, similarly practical in character, includes more laws, wills, and charters,” according to the Encylopedia Brittanica.
This is interesting for a multitude of reasons. Prose extracted the magic and music from information. It must have been liberating for writers who never danced, tapped their toes or sang in the shower. Over time, though, some writers reintroduced music to their sentences. It is interesting that the first paragraph of all great books is poetry without the formatting. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
What’s most interesting about this is, it impacts how we see the world today – how we think. There will always be magic afoot, but before St. Augustine of Canterbury, all of our critical information rode into our ears on a saddle of magic (poetry). All entertainment and teaching tales were delivered on the unicorn of poetry. There was an element of the higher dimension, or the supernatural nature of language, in all communications. Ponder how different our minds would be if all of our information was delivered in rhythm and rhyme! R.Sales prose is usually ideas or thoughts that are coming on too fast to take a minute to find a rhyme. Or they just don’t seem appropriate for the holiness of verse. But don’t expect anything close to what a 6th Century lawyer might write. It’s probably more similar to the ideas and ruminations of the troublemaker that lawyer wanted to put behind bars – or the unruly heresies St. A of C was trying to squish.
“Shorter prose” includes some of the ideas that transformed Richard’s thinking into what it is now. “The Nutritional Mystery” and “The Kingdom of Heaven” are possibly the most pivotal epiphanies of his life. Of course, more will be added with time.