Skip to main content

Poetry: Let's maybe talk about it I guess.

Poetry is not popular in our time. I'm not sure why.

I'd say it's because we're post-Enlightenment, but the Enlightenment loved the shit out of poetry because it used to be HILARIOUS. Then the Romantics picked it up and...y'know...did their thing with it, and then the Victorians said "OH! We can...um...it can be like a novel! Oh, we love the novel. It is our favorite. Make poetry like that." Then the Aesthetes came in at the end of the 19th century and wrote poems with titles like "Athanasia" and "Penumbra" and wandered down lanes holding flowers in their open hands because it was beautiful.

Rule Britannia

Then, y'know. We reached the Modern Era and everyone was sick of everything and jaded because of the War and they decided to say "Fuck it" to the past and just go off and do their own thing. Which is particularly nice to read when you've just spent a semester immersed in Browning and Tennyson. "SCREW YOU CONVENTIONS WHAT IF NOTHING IS CAPITALIZED AHAHAHAHA TAKE THAT." (...contemporary times have gone the opposite way)

People still read novels. They still attend plays. But poetry nowadays seems to have been forgotten as a form of entertainment, or even as an attempt at promoting one's own cultural edification (not contemporary poetry, anyway).

My own gut reaction when I think of poetry is that it's self-involved, overly emotive, irrelevant, and stupid. I didn't even dig deep for that. BUT. Is there any real basis for that opinion? Well, yes. Unfortunately, that opinion mainly comes from exposure to the poetry of teenagers, who're almost all writing like a combination of Poe and Byron but without the talent, or at the very least the requirement that their verses have some sort of structure.

How I see current poetry

Good poetry is so, so, so good. And we're still exposed to some of it through music. We can handle modern poetry in music. I wouldn't be an e.e. cummings fan if I hadn't had to perform "i carry your heart" by John Duke. Despite making fun of the Romantics and poets in general, poetry does fill a void in the arts that I would be CRESTFALLEN to see return (I'm assuming the last time it was there was the prehistoric era). I absolutely don't have the language to discuss why poetry can do the things it does, but it's more able than any other artistic form to capture a sentiment or an idea and fix it in your mind, using words with an at-times surgical precision. We need it.

So. What're some poems I love?

anyone lived in a pretty how town, e.e. cummings 
Sonnet XIV, Sonnets from the Portuguese, Elizabeth Barrett Browning 
Ozymandias, P.B. Jelly 
A Nuptial Sleep, D.G. Rossetti 
At a Seaside Town in 1869, Thomas Hardy 
The Rape of the Lock, Alexander Pope 
La Belle Dame Sans Merci, John Keats 
Howl, Allen Ginsberg

It's Friday. I would like to read some new things. If you want to post the names of your favorite poems, I would be eternally delighted (or at the very least, delighted until 5 PM).

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How to Build a Girl Introductory Post, which is full of wonderful things you probably want to read

Acclaimed (in England mostly) lady Caitlin Moran has a novel coming out. A NOVEL. Where before she has primarily stuck to essays. Curious as we obviously were about this, I and a group of bloggers are having a READALONG of said novel, probably rife with spoilers (maybe they don't really matter for this book, though, so you should totally still read my posts). This is all hosted/cared for/lovingly nursed to health by Emily at As the Crowe Flies (and Reads) because she has a lovely fancy job at an actual bookshop ( Odyssey Books , where you can in fact pre-order this book and then feel delightful about yourself for helping an independent store). Emily and I have negotiated the wonders of Sri Lankan cuisine and wandered the Javits Center together. Would that I could drink with her more often than I have. I feel like we could get to this point, Emily INTRODUCTION-wise (I might've tipped back a little something this evening, thus the constant asides), I am Alice. I enjoy

Harry Potter 2013 Readalong Signup Post of Amazingness and Jollity

Okay, people. Here it is. Where you sign up to read the entire Harry Potter series (or to reminisce fondly), starting January 2013, assuming we all survive the Mayan apocalypse. I don't think I'm even going to get to Tina and Bette's reunion on The L Word until after Christmas, so here's hopin'. You guys know how this works. Sign up if you want to. If you're new to the blog, know that we are mostly not going to take this seriously. And when we do take it seriously, it's going to be all Monty Python quotes when we disagree on something like the other person's opinion on Draco Malfoy. So be prepared for your parents being likened to hamsters. If you want to write lengthy, heartfelt essays, that is SWELL. But this is maybe not the readalong for you. It's gonna be more posts with this sort of thing: We're starting Sorceror's/Philosopher's Stone January 4th. Posts will be on Fridays. The first post will be some sort of hilar

Minithon: The Mini Readathon, January 11th, 2020

The minithon is upon us once more! Minithons are for the lazy. Minithons are for the uncommitted. Minithons are for us. The minithon lasts 6 hours (10 AM to 4 PM CST), therefore making it a mini readathon, as opposed to the lovely Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon and 24in48, both of which you should participate in, but both of which are a longer commitment than this, the Busy Watching Netflix person's readathon. By 'read for six hours' what's really meant in the minithon is "read a little bit and eat a lot of snacks and post pictures of your books and your snacks, but mostly your snacks." We like to keep it a mini theme here, which mainly means justifying your books and your snacks to fit that theme. Does your book have children in it? Mini people! Does it have a dog! Mini wolf! Does it have pencils? Mini versions of graphite mines! or however you get graphite, I don't really know. I just picture toiling miners. The point is, justify it or don't