Pathopoeia ( path-o-poy’-a): A general term for speech that moves hearers emotionally, especially as the speaker attempts to elicit an emotional response by way of demonstrating his/her own feelings (exuscitatio). Melanchthon explains that this effect is achieved by making reference to any of a variety of pathetic circumstances: the time, one’s gender, age, location, etc.
He was born in 1946–at the end of WWII. He grew up in the 1950s—he volunteered to take the experimental polio vaccine, he watched Howdy Doody and Rooted for the Brooklyn Dodgers, and played first base in Little League. He barely graduated from high school in 1966. He joined the Army and went to Vietnam. After that, he went to Woodstock. He bought a Triumph Thunderbolt and wandered around America on two wheels. He took a lot of acid, and learned how to do leatherwork, ending up in Monterey, CA, working in a small leather shop overlooking the Bay. One day, he decided to go to college on the GI Bill. He started out at a community college where they had open admissions. He got an Associate’s Degree and applied to the UC system, and was admitted to UC Santa Barbara. He graduated with a Masters and then went on to get a PhD from the University of Washington. He was a professor for many years. After 2 failed marriages, he met his current wife and they have a beautiful daughter. Their lives overflowed with love.
In every direction I look, I see tearful people, people remembering the goodness of this man and feeling the bonds of friendship that tied their lives, but no more. Now, there are memories—ephemeral traces and visions of what no longer exists, but affects us all as if he was seated there among you.
Goodbye my friend—my truest friend. Goodbye forever.
Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).
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