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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Of course, according to my parents the action I'm getting right now should make my last remaining eye go blind..."
11973 members | you are not logged in | 20 October 2020


May 02 2013

Horrible Poetry 101: Arise and Sing. Fantastic analysis of Dr. Horrible's final song, Everything You Ever.

Horribly wonderful analysis. I wonder if Joss put that much thought into the structure as he was writing it? He always downplays his skill, but then he did go to school in England and I would assume (as Americans are wont to do) that sonnets and such make up a large portion of the curriculum. ;)
I went to school in the good ole' US of A, and sonnets were part of my curriculum, too.
At Winchester sonnets would be part of the curriculum, though mostly before the sixth form, when Joss joined the school, at a guess. However, an awareness of them would be pretty much taken for granted. In any case, I find it hard to believe that a lad of his intelligence, intoxicated by language and stories, wouldn't have known all about them before going there.

I loved that analysis, especially the link to the sonnet form - there is a very clear "caesura" point, signalled by the change in Billy's costume. And I agree about the end - we see him as himself, not a costumed supervillain - just a crumb of hope which Joss will no doubt dash from our lips in the fulness of time...
This is a wonderful analysis. Can't wait for more!

[ edited by wasabi17 on 2013-05-03 01:08 ]
Really enjoyed this! It's been a long time since my English major brain cells have been so tickled.
there is a very clear "caesura" point

I think you mean the "volta," no, where we turn from the octet to the sestet? I'm not really convinced that this song has much relationship to sonnet form, actually (the vast majority of sonnets in English are in iambic pentameter and even in the author's own reading the song doesn't have 14 lines; it is true that the Spenserian and Petrarchan sonnets rhyme ABBAABBA--but that's a slender reed to build that argument on). It is interesting to note that ABBA quatrains are known as the "In Memoriam" stanza and are (surprise surprise) most commonly associated with Tennyson's In Memoriam; a poem about mourning the death of a beloved friend which, although it ultimately arrives at a reconciliation with the death and a determination to move on with life, features a great deal of profound despair at an irreplaceable loss.

[ edited by Yoink on 2013-05-03 19:50 ]

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