because I like them both! Or maybe not; they seem to have more in common than you think, judging by what my poet friend has to say about them in this special guest post.
Wot a book is [and why people watch telly]
I would begin my little prose
by showing some similarities
that most certainly exist between
reading books and watching tellys.
I happed upon a man
of a very strange persuasion, to my mind,
for when I paid him a visit
I looked and I looked but my eyes couldn’t find
a television set.
And it transpired [for he was a religious sort]
that in his opinion entertainment,
communication of knowledge and such
in books were from God but that the devil sent
telephones, radio and television.
Now all this set us to debating
the one with each other.
In the matter of argufying, I like
to begin at basics, or why bother?
what is a book?
or what a television?
let us look at both to see
if we can reach a decision.
My dear you are in Singapore
I cannot address to you my thoughts
as well as if you lived next door.
If I am to tell you ought,
it’s by transmission of a code I must,
with pen and paper that I bought.
For written language, you must know,
consists in sign and symbol,
sent in an envelope which when you open
will begin to decipher as you were taught in school.
Perhaps my code in words will run to pages
containing theories, and or, dramas,
sufficient to fill a book
to be read in your pyjamas.
To sum up then, my thoughts, first encoded
in alphabet letters, consonant and vowel
are then sent to be read by you
and interpreted, fair or foul.
In what way I ask differs this
to talking on a telephone?
why, the science is precisely the same,
my voice in the handset, whether I laugh or moan,
will move the carbon to create the code
sent by a pulse along a wire
to the very place of your abode.
The scrambled signal then by science reversed
is reassembled and amplified.
And you, my dear, will hear my voice
as clearly as though I were stood by your side.
The method of radio is the very same,
air now the medium and not the wire
by which my message came.
And how is the mode of communication
any different with television?
only now pulses created by light
will produce pictures to accompany my transmission.
We are talking about how we communicate,
principles and science remain the same.
Now we are come to nitty gritties,
which the more excellent? which more lame?
On either side of this debate gather
pros and cons bearing considerable weight,
it may well come down to which you would rather.
Gentledove has another poetry blog at The Rhyming Yack.