What's your favorite poem?

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spacebot
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What's your favorite poem?

Post by spacebot » Sun May 13, 2:02 2018

What's your favorite poem?

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DarkOne
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Re: What's your favorite poem?

Post by DarkOne » Sun May 13, 19:01 2018

So, granted, my exposure to poetry is limited to whatever my teachers wanted to cover in high school and freshman English, but I really like The Raven by Poe. I read his short stories and so I'd come across The Raven and Annabel Lee before my professor covered them. I was always pulled in by the perfect and unyielding rhythm and rhyme of both poems and how very somber-Poe they were. My type A engineering mind loved the orderliness of it all.

For a similar reason, the most disliked of the poems I've ever come across is l(a by e e cummings. All the poetry lovahs just can't help going gaga over it and analyze it to no end. OMG it's so magical. But I see it and go bleh -_- . Sometimes I don't want to have to figure out my entertainment, I just want the poem to do all the work and seduce me while all I do is read.
"Winston Churchill once said 'The eyes are the windows of your face.' " -A man who's very scared of plants.

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Re: What's your favorite poem?

Post by Sonic# » Mon May 14, 8:58 2018

At one point I convinced myself I disliked Edgar Allen Poe. It was for some superficial reason - disliking the emo fanculture around him. He's great.

It's hard for me to pick one because there are so many kinds of poems. So I'll stick to three, one long narrative poem, one lyrical poem, and one medieval poem.

1. Long narrative - Paradise Lost by John Milton. It used to be The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser, but then I wrote a dissertation on it. In effect, it's a good combination of what you describe liking and disliking, DarkOne - it is orderly and unyielding in its unrhymed iambic pentameter, and at the same time its long sentences and enjambed lines create a lot of play. I think Paradise Lost works a lot better than cummings because even without analyzing the lines too much someone can generally understand PL (adjusting slightly for language evolution) and hear its rhythms well.

2. Short lyric - "Diving into the Wreck" by Adrienne Rich. This poem freshman year convinced me that I should be an English major while being a Math major. It is about diving into the wreck, but crafted in such a way that it spoke to me about figuring things out, about our relationships to systems of knowledge, including the possibility of being outside that system and omitted from the book of myths. Over repeated readings and writing a paper, I learned more about alterity, about reading not just to replicate our own viewpoint but to understand another's.

3. Medieval - The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. God, I just love the way he plays with genres, how he represents so many pilgrims who each tell a story in their own fashion, and how the humor and forms scale from being this kind of high epic into elaborate fart jokes. And the Middle English, while challenging to new readers, is not too hard to read aloud, and sounds far better than any translation. The general prologue is an extended demonstration of character writing, building up their qualities and flaws without falling into any strict didacticism.

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