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Weekly poetry thread
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silneldor
Half-elven


Jan 20 2013, 12:11am

Post #26 of 41 (165 views)
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Man, talk about two canny individuals! [In reply to] Can't Post

That's a story Annael, and powerful use of poetry.
Willi lived a life didn't he? He surely did.

Is there word on Tom?















Kassandros
Rohan


Jan 20 2013, 1:55am

Post #27 of 41 (161 views)
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Never meant it was the only way to see it. [In reply to] Can't Post

Also didn't realize that this wasn't a universal interpretation, or perhaps I would have used different terms.

all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us...


silneldor
Half-elven


Jan 20 2013, 2:53am

Post #28 of 41 (173 views)
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I really do not know about how universal [In reply to] Can't Post

that tangent is. That is Ok Kass:). I guess its 'relevance' is a matter of personal 'tolerance' or 'attraction' to it. If that makes sense.

I guess i feel about such as i do about, say, the myriad tattoos that depict skulls. knives, open wounds and that sort of depravity (having 2 lotr's themed tattoos), if i may use that word.

If i may, i feel that death may serve as an 'advisor' of sorts, it not to be infused into the fiber of life. The fiber of Life is to be filled with wonder, mystery, awe, beauty and love. Life can be transcendent. Life has risen to the point to reach that potential. So i 'see' things in terms of that 'mode'. Call me a romantic if you will, perhaps that is what i am. So be it:).















Tintallë
Gondor


Jan 20 2013, 5:01am

Post #29 of 41 (158 views)
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Frost himself took issue with that interpretation - [In reply to] Can't Post

in fact, he often sharply criticized those who analyze poems for hidden meanings. I rather love that about him, but I freely acknowledge that my love is partially born of the battle scars inflicted upon me by lit teachers over the years, no doubt armed with Ciardi's How Does A Poem Mean? as their standard. I believe Ciardi described Frost's poem as the author's death wish, or some such.

You may find this interesting:

From Mark Richardson, author of The Ordeal of Robert Frost:

"During Frost’s own lifetime… critics sometimes set [Frost's] teeth on edge with intimations about personal themes in the poem, as if it expressed a wish quite literally for suicide… Louis Mertins quotes him in conversation:

“Now Ciardi is a nice fellow–one of those bold, brassy fellows who go ahead and say all sorts of things. He makes my “Stopping By Woods” out a death poem. Well, it would be like this if it were. I’d say, “This is all very lovely, but I must be getting on to heaven.” There’d be no absurdity in that. That’s all right, but it’s hardly a death poem. Just as if I should say here tonight, “This is all very well, but I must be getting on to Phoenix, Arizona, to lecture there. ” (Mertins 371) [The Ordeal of Robert Frost, p. 190]

I would like to be clear and say that I mean no offense by this - I just think it's kind of interesting to know how others interpret poems vs. the poet's own statements on their interpretations. Ultimately, the beauty of poetry is that it speaks personally to each individual. I'm glad this one never spoke to me of suicide but I can see how one could interpret it that way.


Kassandros
Rohan


Jan 20 2013, 5:16am

Post #30 of 41 (153 views)
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Well, I don't really see it as a hidden meaning. [In reply to] Can't Post

I did read over some of the back-and-forth about Frost and the critics. It seemed like he took issue with them attributing suicidal desires to him personally, and back then, such things were very much taboo. I also don't make out the poem to mean that Frost was constantly suicidal or anything. And more specific than suicide, the poem speaks about the allure of the wild and joining it, even if in this case, that seems to mean the speaker would die.

Anyway, i really didn't mean to ruffle any feathers. Just hadn't heard any interpretations before that didn't involve the possibility of death in the poem. I hadn't done thorough research on it either, though.

all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us...


Annael
Half-elven


Jan 20 2013, 4:51pm

Post #31 of 41 (140 views)
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well . . . [In reply to] Can't Post

I think any artist needs to be prepared for people to see something other in their work than what they intended. In fact, if the work's any good at all, it will resonate with other people on in many different ways. I also think that if an artist's any good, they will express things in their works that they might not consciously intended at all.

That said, I always read that poem as meaning that he got caught up in the beauty of the moment. There's nothing I find more beautiful or restful myself than a tramp through snowy woods in the evening.

The way we imagine our lives is the way we are going to go on living our lives.

- James Hillman, Healing Fiction

* * * * * * * * * *

NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967


Ethel Duath
Valinor


Jan 20 2013, 9:09pm

Post #32 of 41 (124 views)
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Can't resist--here's a link to an interpretation discussion [In reply to] Can't Post

I just found. It's also one of my favorite poems because I believe in stopping and soaking in nature, and found, especially as a child, that many people don't really think that's so important. At least all sorts of grownups kept trying to hurry me along when I wanted to stop and contemplate. The suicide idea took me so much by surprise when I learned of it in high school, I completely suppressed the memory of it until now! Anyway, here's the link:

http://answers.yahoo.com/...0070409171857AAhZGvK


Ethel Duath
Valinor


Jan 20 2013, 9:16pm

Post #33 of 41 (138 views)
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Frost in Middle Earth? [In reply to] Can't Post

I've never seen this one before, but it almost belongs in the Nature/gardening thread! And it mentions Elves and some other Middle-Earth-evocative sorts of things, if one is "primed" like we are to notice them. (I wonder if Frost would have enjoyed Tolkien.)

A Line-storm Song by Robert Frost
The line-storm clouds fly tattered and swift, The road is forlorn all day, Where a myriad snowy quartz stones lift, And the hoof-prints vanish away. The roadside flowers, too wet for the bee, Expend their bloom in vain. Come over the hills and far with me, And be my love in the rain. The birds have less to say for themselves In the wood-world’s torn despair Than now these numberless years the elves, Although they are no less there: All song of the woods is crushed like some Wild, easily shattered rose. Come, be my love in the wet woods; come, Where the boughs rain when it blows. There is the gale to urge behind And bruit our singing down, And the shallow waters aflutter with wind From which to gather your gown. What matter if we go clear to the west, And come not through dry-shod? For wilding brooch shall wet your breast The rain-fresh goldenrod. Oh, never this whelming east wind swells But it seems like the sea’s return To the ancient lands where it left the shells Before the age of the fern; And it seems like the time when after doubt Our love came back amain. Oh, come forth into the storm and rout And be my love in the rain.


Ethel Duath
Valinor


Jan 20 2013, 9:22pm

Post #34 of 41 (128 views)
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This is absolutely gorgeous (and heart-wrenching) [In reply to] Can't Post

A young family member of mine has been going through something similar. It's baffling, and debilitating, I know. You deserve a lot of credit for writing about it, and creating beauty out of, and into a difficult and confusing grief.

May there be light, living birds, and unbroken shells in your very near future.


Ethel Duath
Valinor


Jan 20 2013, 9:49pm

Post #35 of 41 (136 views)
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Aack! It copied in without stanzas! Here it is the right way: [In reply to] Can't Post

(Oddly, it looked fine when I was working in the post window, so I didn't catch the fact that it changed it after posting, until the editing time was up.Blush)

A Line-Storm Song


by Robert Frost.

The line-storm clouds fly tattered and swift,
The road is forlorn all day,
Where a myriad snowy quartz stones lift,
And the hoof-prints vanish away.
The roadside flowers, too wet for the bee,
Expend their bloom in vain.
Come over the hills and far with me,
And be my love in the rain.

The birds have less to say for themselves
In the wood-world’s torn despair
Than now these numberless years the elves,
Although they are no less there:
All song of the woods is crushed like some
Wild, easily shattered rose.
Come, be my love in the wet woods; come,
Where the boughs rain when it blows.

There is the gale to urge behind
And bruit our singing down,
And the shallow waters aflutter with wind
From which to gather your gown.
What matter if we go clear to the west,
And come not through dry-shod?
For wilding brooch shall wet your breast
The rain-fresh goldenrod.

Oh, never this whelming east wind swells
But it seems like the sea’s return
To the ancient lands where it left the shells
Before the age of the fern;
And it seems like the time when after doubt
Our love came back amain.
Oh, come forth into the storm and rout
And be my love in the rain.


(This post was edited by Ethel Duath on Jan 20 2013, 9:50pm)


Tintallë
Gondor


Jan 20 2013, 11:13pm

Post #36 of 41 (121 views)
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Loved the link/discussion! // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Ethel Duath
Valinor


Jan 21 2013, 1:02am

Post #37 of 41 (123 views)
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I thought it was pretty enlightening [In reply to] Can't Post

in all sorts of different ways!


Kassandros
Rohan


Jan 21 2013, 2:45pm

Post #38 of 41 (123 views)
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Thank you. // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us...


Kassandros
Rohan


Jan 22 2013, 5:00pm

Post #39 of 41 (108 views)
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I found the discussion very sad. [In reply to] Can't Post

There are a couple reasonable replies in that thread, but the initial poster's comments just paint a really sad picture of the modern educational system. I'm not sure what the solution is, but introducing children to poetry and other literature as a thing to be studied and written about rather than a thing to be enjoyed seems to really stifle most people's love of reading. I found the kid's thoughts about explicating poetry entirely sad, almost as sad as the later commenter who said that you should never question authority, even when you're right.

Literature shouldn't be boring work that you do because you have to. So much of our schools aim to stifle of a love of learning rather than to educate. It's really hard to overcome those impressions. I am so glad for writers like Tolkien where children can find engaging literary texts that aren't completely stripped of their life in the education system. Well, perhaps they are these days...

Poetry tends to suffer the most, as most highschool English teachers seem to favor and understand prose far better than poetry.

all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us...


Kassandros
Rohan


Jan 22 2013, 5:07pm

Post #40 of 41 (115 views)
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Also... [In reply to] Can't Post

Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening isn't great because it's a poem in which the speaker contemplates ending their life or because it isn't a poem about that. It's a great poem because of the excellent way it's written that contains so much for us to dig through. The words are very intentionally and beautifully used. And it's not a transient, shallow kind of beauty. It's deep and dark like the woods and you can really poke it around and see different things each time you read it. Often, I think the quality of a song or poem or novel can be measured only on repeated readings or listenings. Are there new things you notice? New depths? The poem presents us a seen and we can see admiring nature, considering mortality, or even Santa Claus, which I had never thought about before but find pretty funny.

Meaning in poetry is far less about what a poem mans than it is about how a poem means. How the poet uses words and the sounds those words make and the structure the words are put in to suggest various impressions.

all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us...


Ethel Duath
Valinor


Jan 24 2013, 4:26am

Post #41 of 41 (117 views)
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Well, I had at least 2 reactions [In reply to] Can't Post

I was happy when the first teacher posted her encouraging thoughts. I was discouraged that the student just "wanted to get through it" and not at all happy with that student's teacher. I liked the independent views expressed by so many.

And I agree with you here: "introducing children to poetry and other literature as a thing to be studied and written about rather than a thing to be enjoyed seems to really stifle most people's love of reading. I found the kid's thoughts about explicating poetry entirely sad, almost as sad as the later commenter who said that you should never question authority, even when you're right."

If I hadn't been such a passionate reader on my own, I likely would have learned to hate a wide variety of books in school English classes, simply because they were presented as "work"!

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