Friday, June 11, 2010

A Fantastic Six Word Memoir

I remember discussing poetry in one of my literature classes as an undergrad.  For some reason, I distinctly remember us talking about how a lot of the power and beauty of poetry derives from brevity.  Thus, one could view truly great poetry as that which says the most using the least amount of words, and a perfection of the art would be summed up by an ability to always find "le mot just".  (This is probably why I am a loquacious scientist, and not a poet... that, and a complete lack of literary talent.)  Anyway, at some point, summing up one's life in 6 words or less became a trendy sort of challenge, a "6 word memoir"so to speak.  I wasn't really aware of this until recently, when I was listening to a talk by Dr. Lyn Clemens of Michigan State University, who ended the talk (which was something of a retrospective of his career) with one of these brief memoirs:

"Followed Dreams, Not Rules, No Regrets."

It seemed fitting to me to share this, since it's graduation season and people are making commencement speeches and looking for good advice to give new grads.

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