Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Give the Poets Another Try ...

[Image Left: John Keats; Right: Lord Byron]

I remember in High School AP English --near the end of the schoool year--we were each given a poet to research. Then we had to give a reading of one, or more, of our poet's more famous works. After our reading, we had to analyze what messages the poet was trying to convey to his audience, who was his audience, etc. Remember all of that stuff?!

(I have to go back to high school for this because in college, as an Electrical Engineering major, I didn't get much of the Arts; if it wasn't required: I didn't have time for it. I kind of regret that now, but hey it's never too late, right?).

Anyway, somehow I wound up with John Keats as my poet, and boy did I NOT like his work. His words seemed convoluted and overly flowery. Keats used way too much simile, metaphor and imagery for my tastes. I had thought about choosing Lord Byron for a fleeting moment, but his work didn't seem any easier to understand. So, I wound up sticking with Keats.

I chose the poem 'Ode to a Grecian Urn' to recite and analyze, because it was shortest and therefore I had hoped it would be the simplest to analyze -- wrong?! I was pretty clueless then. I stumbled through the reading, butchering the inflections miserably. My analysis was mediocre at best, and I went and threw up afterwards because I was so nervous at having had to get up in front of a class full of the brightest kids on campus.

It's funny how much we change, and grow, along this journey called life, because now -- especially right now -- I so get Byron and what he was trying to say. Maybe you have to experience what the poet is writing about in order to really get it? I don't know, but what I do know is that with all that I'm feeling these days and no one to talk to (aside from this blog ... and for the most part, love you, but you don't talk back ... I just hate to burden others with my problems): it's nice to have someone put into words what I'm feeling, or words that I would like to hear on the other side of a conversation that will never happen.

So if you've never given poetry much serious thought in your younger days -- like me -- maybe you should broaden your horizons and give the poets a second chance. I promise it won't hurt too much. Here's a great place to start:


Who knows, I may even work up the courage to revisit some of the works of John Keats?

Happy reading to you, and if you're lucky: feeling and understanding as well. Most of us could use a bit more of the latter in our lives ...

P.S. Confession: Had a half cup of coffee today. REALLY, REALLY needed it! After a few sips: remembered just how much I love that marvelous drink. Hopefully this won't jump start the cravings again. What can I say ... guess I'm human after all?

Song: Peace of Mind, By Bat for Lashes


  1. a little of what you fancy, whether poetry, coffee or chocolate
    does you good.

  2. I majored in a science field too and wonder now - why didn't I learn more art, poetry, music - you know the really good stuff? But I did love my science classes - learning about the way things work.
    That's the nice thing about blogs and the internet- we can constantly be learning.


Thanks for taking a moment to share your thoughts. I'll read them and post them soon! God Bless! M