Just another bookish flaneuse from the Canadian prairies.
@j-i-a Ooh, I like that. Makes me extra glad I'm wearing my snake brooch today.
You're right, Baba. Ah, you're always so right.
@A. Louise Boulevard!
On "Snow would be the easy/ way out—that softening/ sky like a sigh of relief/ at finally being allowed/ to yield"
Oh Jia, this is perfect and exquisite and just what I needed on this grey-white Canadian prairie day. Bless your Michigander heart and your understanding of winter, and hurray for Rita Dove.
@Cat named Virtute Ugh, sorry this double-posted, guys. I wasn't sure if anyone would find it in the spam filter and didn't want to pester Emma and Jia. Thanks for rescuing it!
@alliepants I can understand criticizing because it has an active negative influence on your life, like restrictive abortion laws or movies that always star white people, but I literally do not understand what is to be gained by taking a shit all over an art form that's not even very popular nowadays. If we're going to be myopic or navel-gazing, can we at least be funny, original, or thought-provoking?
@fruitcakewriter Literary scholars don't go looking for symbolism because of some sort of fun authorial-intent scavenger hunt, they do it to understand literature in the context of social movements, historical events, other literature of the time, and the human condition. Just because some author didn't intend for a symbol to be read as it is doesn't mean a) that that is an illegitimate interpretation of the work or b) that it doesn't say something about literature or the world that goes beyond the author. Critics don't "make up" interpretations, they make observations that synthesize literary works with bigger ideas. We don't still talk about Freudian analysis in literature because we think Freud was actually right about human psychology, we talk about Freud because the narratives he offered turn-of-the-century Europe and beyond influenced how people thought about psychology and motive, and how that translated into fiction, drama, and poetry.
Oh yes. This one is my favourite. Just incredible. And causing a need for cider.
"I hate poetry" god, so does almost everyone, this is not new or exciting.
Poets know most people don't want to put in the effort to figuring out whether a poem about the coast of Maine could possibly be anything more than a list of descriptions, and we know that most people just want plot and explication. It's not like we're marching in the street persecuting you for having a limited idea of our genre. It's not that people who dislike poetry are bad people, but spending 1000+ words on your indifference is really not telling anyone anything new.
Imagine writing a column against painting that says that while you're rather taken with a Rembrandt here and a Vermeer there, why would anyone want to look at an inexact rendering of a scene that doesn't even and did you know that some paintings don't look like anything at all?!
For people who like the idea of poetry but struggle with it, I strongly recommend Arc Poetry magazine's How Poems Work column. Lemon Hound has a similar column, and this one is especially good.
(Hoping this posts this time. I think my last one got stuck in the spam filter).
@harebell Agree so much. I don't like "novels," I like novels with intriguing psychological portraits or lushly described landscapes or imaginative use of language. People act like poetry is this monolith that you are either for or against, and it's so frustrating to me.