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Dialogue: Poetry

BORIS: Hey Natasha, let me share this poem with you. I find it inspirational.

NATASHA: Well, Boris, knowing your taste in poetry, and in music for that matter, I'm sure it's ...er... very interesting.

BORIS: Just listen to this:

If you think you are beaten, you are
If you think you dare not, you don't
If you like to win but think you can't
It's almost a cinch you won't
If you think you'll lose, you're lost
For out in the world we find
Success begins with a fellow's will
It's all in the state of mind
If you think you are out classed, you are
You've got to think high to rise
You've got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win the prize
Life's battles don't always go
To the stronger or faster man
But sooner or later, the man who wins
Is the man who thinks he can.

NATASHA: My dear Boris, that's a nice string of clichés .... I mean ... poem. I feel inspired to go out and slay giants... Or beat the Lakers in six.

BORIS: You mock me. Why are you so mean to me? Don't you know what you mean to me?

NATASHA: Here's one, Boris. This is more what poetry's about:

The neighbors' dog will not stop barking.
He is barking the same high, rhythmic bark
that he barks every time they leave the house.
They must switch him on on their way out.

The neighbors' dog will not stop barking.
I close all the windows in the house
and put on a Beethoven symphony full blast
but I can still hear him muffled under the music,
barking, barking, barking,

and now I can see him sitting in the orchestra,
his head raised confidently as if Beethoven
had included a part for barking dog.

When the record finally ends he is still barking,
sitting there in the oboe section barking,
his eyes fixed on the conductor who is
entreating him with his baton

while the other musicians listen in respectful
silence to the famous barking dog solo,
that endless coda that first established
Beethoven as an innovative genius.

BORIS: OK, that was interesting.

NATASHA: Interesting? that was freakin' brilliant.

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September 2017

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