Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Top Five: Poetry

You may feel that a couple of these are cliched (Sonnet XLIII by EBB, I know, but I love it), here is why I love them ...

5. Pablo Neruda is the master of love poetry and Sonnet XVII is his masterpiece . Somehow he is able to write into words the emotion behind what we would simply call LOVE. What most people simply say cannot be defined, Neruda comes right out and casts it on paper, using words and magic to express what I could not have. I seriously want to use this in wedding vows (you know, eventually)

4. When I decided to write this Top Five, Do Not Go Gentle is what came to mind immediately. The feeling I have after reading or hearing this piece is the urgency and passion at which we as humans want to hold on to things (eyesight, for Dylan, although we all have our own things). Mere words cannot express that feeling, but Thomas is able to weave language that is always lacking into this masterpiece.

3. Sonnets of the Portuguese may be the most widely known "poetry" and Sonnet XLIII is probably the most identified poem as a "favorite" of cheerleaders everywhere. However, it does not stop me from enjoying it. How do I love this, let me count the ways ... my favorite movie uses this poem (10 Things I Hate About You's title and Kat's project are both based on this poem) and EBB pulls out all of the stops when saying how she loves, there is nothing left that she doesn't love with. I can imagine Jace saying this to Clary ... 

2. Ah, I've had a love/hate relationship with The Waste Land over the years. I wrote a 43 page thesis paper defining this poem as a Jeremiad. There are so many layers, so many things to say, so many notes I've taken and points I've made for the last few years. Only Eliot could write this in all of its complexity. "April is the cruelest month ..." those words excite me, my pulse quickens, I cannot wait to dive in and someday, someday, it will all make sense. 

1. This truly is my most favorite poem. Here we have J. Alfred Prufrock totally concerned about his appearance and women and running out of time and then he is ending up with mermaids? How does that even happen? Prufrock holds my heart, he is not quite secure in himself and feels like he has wasted time. I too have measured my life in coffee spoons and fear what people say of me. This is one of the most honest pieces of poetry I've ever read and I feel like Prufrock and I are kindred spirits. Sigh. 

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