Months after reading David Eagleman’s Sum, which is a collection of stories about scenarios in the afterlife that is my favourite fiction book, I am still loving the premise as a means to think of new concepts to write short fiction. Today, I have another one.
A nudge in behavioral economics is a small suggestion and/or behaviour reinforcement designed to help people make better choices, if not coined, then certainly popularized by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein in their book of the same name. McDonald’s is fast food I should eat less of, but given Warren Buffett and Bill Gates eat there regularly, too, my brain is making excuses to stop. Recently, I put nudge and McDonald’s together for an idea that could save the company money, and improve the lives of millions with the volume McDonald’s serves… and it even resembles something McDonald’s has done before!
For today’s post, I want to introduce you to a very new app, Pique, that’s only available for iOS right now. I think some of you may find useful and also enjoy using to make positive changes in your life. To be clear, I have nothing to do with this app, but if you like what it can do for you to teach you new ways of thinking, making positive changes in life and ones that will stick, and to understand how people do or don’t do this well, this is your chance to get ahead of the world in these matters and be among the earliest to try!
Yesterday, I wrote to question the limits of taking on other people’s voices in the first person as a poet, as if the poet had actually experienced the topic to know rather than just imagined it? That is, how legitimate is it for a poet to write about others’ experiences in their own voice, as if s/he could represent the collective voices of humanity? Today, I write to ask questions about a slightly different, but much more limited, poetic collective writing approach. What if the poet still wrote in the first person under the voice of another, or others, but that they had some connection to the poet? That is, collective in this sense means a very finite collective of people, rather than humanity or some segment of it as a collective. Put it another way, instead of the poet writing in the first person as if they were anyone in the human race collective that they pleased, rather than in the third person to tell about it, here, the poet is writing for all members of some small collective, like each member of a family, or both members of a couple, etc. They’d not only be a collective poet to some extent, but would also be writing collective poems where there are contributions from more than one person, all in the first person voice. How acceptable would that be, whether in general or depending on the situation?
I’ve always thought poetry as something very personal. As such, when you wrote in the first person voice, you are writing of your perspective and/or your experiences. If you wrote about someone else’s perspectives and/or experiences, like how Chaucer wrote of others’ tales, or how Coleridge wrote of Kubla Khan, among many other examples, you wrote then in the third person voice, aside from personal quotes of certain characters. However, in my newly intensified exposure to modern poetry, I have seen more examples of poets writing in the first person about perspectives and/or experiences not their own. That’s fine as a literary tool in prose, but I’m not yet comfortable with that aspect for poetry given how I associate poetry as something deeply personal, even if only on choice of expression to tell someone else’s story… as if you knew it rather than as if you were it. I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks of poetry as something deeply personal to be handled this way, but, it seems, the world doesn’t agree with me.