Friday, September 14, 2007

Very tangential

This was brought to my mind by my buddy Phil Johnson's comment on the last post ("I prolly stole that outline from Warren Wiersbe anyway"). I don't like much English-language poetry, but what I do like tends to be... well, tends to be by Rudyard Kipling!

Here's the one Phil's comment brought to mind.

"When 'Omer Smote 'Is Bloomin' Lyre"


When 'Omer smote 'is bloomin' lyre,
He'd 'eard men sing by land an' sea;
An' what he thought 'e might require,
'E went an' took -- the same as me!

The market-girls an' fishermen,
The shepherds an' the sailors, too,
They 'eard old songs turn up again,
But kep' it quiet -- same as you!

They knew 'e stole; 'e knew they knowed.
They didn't tell, nor make a fuss,
But winked at 'Omer down the road,
An' 'e winked back -- the same as us!
Now, speaking for myself, I am admittedly a bit obsessive about this. Among many other things.

I am certain that I unconsciously "steal" in good faith. Any preacher will know what I mean. I mean that I read or hear something really good, it gets buried in my subconscious, and then resurfaces years (or, more's the pity, months) later, as my own thought. By that I mean I've completely forgotten that I heard it somewhere, and so it feels like my own thought. And so I can preach or write it as my own thought, plagiarizing in good conscience.

But where I'm obsessive is if I know I'm about to borrow, I must credit. If I'm using another man's outline, or a major thought (not necessarily a minor turn of phrase or observation), it best suits my notion of integrity to say so.

Admittedly, I'm probably the only one to care. When I say it, my longsuffering hearers are probably thinking, "Whatever! I don't even know that name! Thanks, Phillips — there's fifty-three seconds of my life I'll never have back!"


David Rudd said...

i agree. that's a pet peeve of mine.

LeeC said...

"Do you like Kipling?"

"I dunno I've never kippled."

Only fond of two poets besides David and that Kippling and Robert Burns.

threegirldad said...

Good for you, Dan! Just like eating Quaker Oats, "it's the right thing to do." ;-)

And besides, who knows? Some of your hearers may actually say, "Wow! That was GOOD! I wonder what else [insert name] had to say about the Christian walk?" And now they have the information they need to go find out...

Kathleen said...

Relates a bit to your point (from a Thomas Sowell article):

Once a minister was explaining to me the structure of his funeral orations. He said, "At this point, you are expected to say something good about the deceased. Now, Tom, if I were preaching your funeral, what would I say good about you at that point?"

He thought and thought -- for an embarrassingly long time. Finally, he said gravely: "In his research, he always used original sources."

Anonymous said...

I don't like much English-language poetry

I find this saddening.

JOHN MILTON. The [greatest] Poet of the English language. Does Paradise Lost ring a bell? Il Penseroso and L'Allegro are the two most amazing poems in the English language. And his Sonnets?

And what about Byron, Hopkins, or Meredith! You're killing me Dan!