Yes, that’s me: a sucker for aphorisms. Maybe because I really can’t write them, though occasionally one will surface in the context of a poem—which of course makes it not an aphorism, I think, because an aphorism must stand alone. On the other hand, my Oxford American Dictionary defines aphorism as merely “a pithy observation that contains a general truth,” which is fine but begs the question of why they’re so damned delightful.
This particular post was inspired, by the way, by another blogger who posts under the moniker of “JforJames” on his blog, ursprache. JforJames is an aphorist living (his profile says) in Connecticut, and his blog is one of those unusual blogs that make the reader want to fare back through its archives. Here are some characteristic excerpts:
Too many poets know only their own poems.
The poet walks alone out onto the springboard of the first line.
Theorists and theists, different gods, but mired in dogmas all the same.
After the advent of email, only the poem was left to replace the letter as an instrument of intimate communication.
Render unto the reader what the reader has reason to expect. That may not always be meaning but it must be a meaningful experience.
I came to his blog via William Michaelian’s Recently Banned Literature, in a listing of recently linked sites. Thanks, William!