Tuesday, April 3, 2012

We Wax Poetic About Plagiarism

Guess what was here.

Photo from A Study In English Spring Part A
© Frank et al 2012
A lovely post about poetry, writing, creativity and therapy, and as usual...we buggered it up. Lost in an edit, a stupid fucking edit. For some reason our last post got copied over it (the post from yesterday) and saved, and Blogger does not have an option to view previous edits, rather it saves content every couple of minutes. After literally hours of searching, Googling fixes, paging through cached files and browser history, it's gone, like most things that enter our brain, but this time for good; there is no way to rewrite it exactly. Lesson learned, we suppose. From now on we go back to starting in a word document.
Moaning hymns of flowers,
she lay bouquets at the grave,
whispered words bloomed for
you; her little death began.
The post we had was beautifully written, the poem, now rewritten, was better before we pieced it back together from scraps of memory.

The poem, the stanza, what we wrote, the little ditty...complete or not, one day part a larger work, perhaps. The destiny of what we write unknown, most of which begins on Twitter.

We explained the poem in our lost entry, gave credit for the first line to @stranded_in_to, Chris of http://strandedintoronto.wordpress.com/. We had asked for permission to use it weeks ago when he wrote "Moaning hymns to the flowers" in a Tweet to us in response to one we send into space, referencing orgasm. We hope he likes what we did with it. The poem, in short, is about sex; "little death", French for orgasm.

We wrote this morning how we don't actually like reading poetry much, but have been writing it for over 20 years, since we were 10 years old (tab to our archived poetry at the top of the page), content dark, evil, sometimes...the expression of pain, and sometimes love.

We started reading The Complete Works of Emily Dickinson last year but got distracted, and the book eventually got returned to the library carrying a hefty fine. We've never read an entire volume of poetry.

The entry was also about how we use, as many who enjoy writing do, Twitter; as a platform for writing, one of the many uses we find for it. And how Twitter is a great tool for honing writing skills, to work on finding more concise ways to convey meaning and emotion.

How word-for-word theft is wrong, and how we give a fuck about stealing thoughts, verbatim - making exception for tired old jokes rehashed over and over; but the stealing of emotions, thoughts and feelings, and claiming ownership of them is plagiarism; how we write live, the poems, the words, that end up in the 140 spaces of white of the Tweet window, and they are, more often than not, an expression of what is going on in our mind, in the moments, but sometimes it's just depraved debris. How plagiarism of words is different than pirating media, pirating isn't the claim of creation, that plagiarism is. Plagiarism is often theft of soul in a mediocre manor.

We also understand it is the nature of life, to plagiarize words, and art, for people who cannot be authentic, who cannot be creative, who can not find their own expression of self/selves. It doesn't mean it's right, however.

We briefly mentioned how plagiarism and research are different, and how some people really don't see the difference...but now we are too dejected to rewrite it, and if you care to know things, you'll find a way to learn the difference yourself.

In short, what we wrote this morning was great, and disappeared seconds before publishing; much more elegant, it flowed and was easier to understand.

It was lost, word for word. I cried...not over spilled milk, but over vanished words; and a lesson learned.

I wrote for hours, in the end, to come up with only this. All that remained was the title.

~ Ivy

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