Friday, April 15, 2005

Coming to a Close:

Seeing as it is the end of our poetry class, I thought that it might very well be fitting to look back on what I thought about poetry at the beginning of the year and reflect on how my conceptions of peotry have changed throughout the course.

Coming into this class, I was very skeptical about my past experiences with poetry, but was somewhat willing to give the discipline a second chance. I am remined of the comment I made in my first blog that was quite indifferent to the fact that one could truly 'understand' poetry from the eye of the poet himself/herself. I didn't quite understand how I could truly comprehend the inent of the poem when all I had to look at was the poem itself. I used the excuse that because I am an historian, I can only reach sure conclusions about things with the popper research. That is to say, that I always wanted to use more than one source to be able to draw conclusions--simply reading the poem was not enough because it provided little to no historical context for the author's words.

But thanks in great measure to the Romantics, I have come to realize that a poem and thus its interpretation, requires imagination, and not more sources. I don't need a pile of books beside me when analyzing a poem. Rather, I need a willingness to be open-minded. I am reminded of the poem we talked about on our exam: I Wander Lonely as a Cloud by William Wordsworth. This poem has SO many different interpretations that can be applied to it's words. And although it might be hard to pin point exactly what Wordsworth was thinking when he wrote the poem, it is more important to remember that the poem was written about one's imagination and thus, has no singular interpretation that fits it best. Any interpretation can be valid. If anything, this is what the class has taught me: to be open-minded and not just within the context of poetry, but in life in general. Things are not only as I see them to be; others are entitled to their interpretations too!!!

So, as the year comes to a close, I will leave with this one thought: unlike the discipline of history, where we can only learn so much as the past provides for us, poetry is not merely the past, but rather, the past, the present and the future, because interpretations of poetry never stay the same--therefore with poetry, we can never stop learning--poetry has endless possibilities, unlike history.


Blogger Valerie said...

I agree with you Jenny; poetry has no limit in time. There are poems which were written a few thousand years ago, and they still can affect us and have meaning even after all those centuries. An open mind and a flourishing imagination are essential as well.

Poetry essentially is very personal and even though we may not be able to relate to what exactly the poems are about, there is always a deeper meaning within them...something that each of us can take whether or not we can consciously find it right away.

Ahhh.... I'm a poet in spirit, heart, and mind, so I guess I am bias, however, I have yet to see the day where it DOES NOT teach me something.

Life is a learning process - we try and find meaning in everything.
Poetry is just another tool to use in order to learn.
Fromage, but true.

I'm glad you reflected the way you did: from the beginning and now at the end. I thought that was pretty awesome.

Have a good wedding..All the best!

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