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Sunday Read

[sign in to see URL]+DavidAmerland/posts/7AQJrcUxvKp
David Amerland
Sunday Read
Sep 10, 4:08 AM


Long before rock and roll was considered the “work of the devil” ([sign in to see URL]) subverting the morals of proper-raised youth and destroying the fabric of civilized society ([sign in to see URL]) we had poetry ([sign in to see URL]) and a clutch of poets whose rebellious attitude towards society, morals and art ([sign in to see URL]) reshaped the world of letters.

The Pre-Raphaelites featured amongst them gender breakaways like Christina Rossetti ([sign in to see URL]) whose Goblin Market ([sign in to see URL]) has cast a haunting allure upon me ever since I first read it, and were responsible for the backdrop through which Lord Byron ([sign in to see URL]) would rise to notoriety as “mad, bad and dangerous to know” ([sign in to see URL]), living his short life to the fullest.

Poetry is, by design and definition, distilled semantic meaning layered upon context, driven by intent and enriched by association of each of its layers. Its similarity to code hasn’t gone unnoticed ([sign in to see URL]). Nor has its impact diminished with time ([sign in to see URL]). And even though it has to compete with a myriad other forms of entertainment and self-improvement it, its close connection with the psyche ([sign in to see URL]) makes it a vehicle unlike any other when it comes finding a means of self-expression ([sign in to see URL]) as well as self-discovery ([sign in to see URL]).

Wilfred Owen’s 1914 ([sign in to see URL]) for instance or Futility ([sign in to see URL] weave a spell about life, war and death that’s impossible to avoid. W. B. Yeats’ ([sign in to see URL]) An Irish Airman Foresees His Death ([sign in to see URL]) asks us to consider how to balance our passage with our passing (and why). His Second Coming ([sign in to see URL]) has virtually become the anthem of our days.

Dover Beach ([sign in to see URL]) written by Matthew Arnold ([sign in to see URL]) has prompted much analysis and discussion ([sign in to see URL]) for its haunting, timeless imagery. Poems do more, of course than just use their words to evoke pictures that pry open our minds. They challenge beliefs ([sign in to see URL]) become the basis of books ([sign in to see URL]) and act as representative agents of a particular time ([sign in to see URL]).

But poetry, like music, does way more than that. While it may be representative of its age, it mines and feeds upon the strands that go into the make-up of the human condition. As such, with few exceptions, poetry remains current, vibrant and relevant. In The Sniper Mind (for instance) I referenced Rudyard Kipling’s ([sign in to see URL]) work: If ([sign in to see URL]) with its deceptively simply meter ([sign in to see URL]) that goes on to unfurl, almost like a recipe for bravery and cool-headedness with each reading.

In Shakespeare’s poetry we hear the ebb and flow of human emotion ([sign in to see URL]) indistinguishable from the far more contemporary W.H. Auden ([sign in to see URL]) whose Law Like Love ([sign in to see URL]) explores the paradox of our need for guidelines we are seldom prepared to always keep ([sign in to see URL]) or Dylan Thomas’ ([sign in to see URL]) Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night ([sign in to see URL]) that challenges our acceptance of death.

All of this reflects a peculiarity, perhaps. For all its power and timelessness, poetry is undergoing some challenging times where it’s losing audiences and failing to produce fresh firebrands to take on the tradition ([sign in to see URL]). Where are the new Poes ([sign in to see URL]) to cry out their love and loss ([sign in to see URL]) or even the new Tennessee Williamses ([sign in to see URL]) to hurry us on and tell us to be mindful? ([sign in to see URL]).
Arguably it is a temporary dip as we marshal out ills and sufferings and hopes and longings in a new century ([sign in to see URL]) before we spring forth with fresh talent and new vision. Maybe. But in the meantime we can still enjoy those of the past ([sign in to see URL]) even if they were founded on a mistake ([sign in to see URL]).

I hope you have had the kind of foresight and wisdom that ensures you are now enriched with coffee and fueled with donuts, croissants, cookies, ice cream and chocolate cake. Have an awesome Sunday wherever you are.
Sep/10/2017, 4:07 pm Link to this post Send Email to libramoon   Send PM to libramoon Blog

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