Saturday, December 02, 2006

Poetry Meme

When I saw that Les had tagged me, my first thought was a POETRY meme?? Yikes! How can I get out of this one? But I see I'm not entirely alone, so here goes...

1. The first poem I remember reading/hearing/reacting to was...
most likely Mother Goose rhymes.

2. I was forced to memorize (name of poem) in school and........
I don't remember having to learn any specific poems by heart, but I do remember having to memorise Puck's final speech in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Grade 8 I think it was.
If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumb'red here
While these visions did appear
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend.
If you pardon, we will mend.
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to scape the serpent's tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call.
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.
3. I read/don't read poetry because....
I don't read poetry because I usually don't "get it". I never really learned to read critically. I don't read fiction critically either. I like meaningful stories, I just don't search out symbolism in anything I read. I realise I'm probably missing out on stuff, and I always appreciate it when in a book discussion someone points out some underlying theme or symbols, but I don't want to get bogged down in looking for them while I read.

4. A poem I'm likely to think about when asked about a favorite poem is .......
The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
It ties into a theme that I also love in literature- that of how the choices we make have a ripple effect.

And I've always quite liked, since studying it in high school, Sir Walter Raleigh's The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd, the reply to Christopher Marlowe's The Passionate Shepherd to His Love, since she doesn't fall blindly for the shepherd's beautiful promises, instead stating realistically, that material things don't last. Yay for the nymph! ;P

5. I write/don't write poetry, but..............
I don't write poetry but I did write a few during a Creative Writing class in Grade 10. They were quite angtsy, and not very good. Nothing since.

6. My experience with reading poetry differs from my experience with reading other types of literature.....
I either read poetry very slowly, trying to understand it, and sound it out in my mind, or my eyes start skipping over it, which usually leads me to rereading, and eventually frustration.
If Non-Fiction gets too dry or technical I start having the same problem. I love the flow of fiction, and being lost in a good story.

7. I find poetry.....
rather intimidating. Which is why I tend to avoid it.

8. The last time I heard poetry....
Gosh, no idea. Probably in a movie.

9. I think poetry is like....something I think/wish I could like if I gave it half a chance. I'm ashamed at how poetry illiterate I am and I really would like to enjoy poetry more. I probably should just read some and find out what works for me. It's getting past that mental wall to begin in the first place.


  1. I'm glad that you did the meme. As I wrote in my original post about the meme, I had hoped that people who didn't like poetry would respond as well. I think that a lot of people stay away from poetry because they don't get it, but not all poetry is obscure. While there is plenty of published poetry that is so obscure that it is unreachable for most readers, I think the poet hasn't done his/her job if the reader doesn't "get" it, since getting it should be the point!

    Enjoyed browsing through your blog.

  2. Hooray! I'm glad you play along, Nat. Especially since you validated a lot of my feelings about poetry. I've heard of that Frost poem, but have never read it through. Thanks for sharing it.

  3. Whew! Glad to see I'm not alone. I just don't get poetry either. I'm like you, I don't always want to work too hard to understand what I'm reading and I always feel like I have to do that poetry.

  4. Thanks Cam. I definitely don't hate poetry, I just stay away from it. I really should just try some.

    Les, I saw I wasn't alone in my poetry avoidance so it wasn't too bad. :)

    Heather, I read your answers before I got around to posting mine so it was comforting to know I wasn't alone! :P

  5. Nat, thanks for reminding me of the Robert Frost poem, it is one of my favorites but I clean forgot about it when I was answering the meme.

    You've got me curious about Christopher Marlowe's "The Passionate Shepherd to his Love" and Walter Raleigh's response, "The Nymph's Reply" so off I go to look for them!

  6. Lotus, I don't know if you noticed, but if you click on the name of the poem, I've linked to them. It's just one of the poems that has stuck with me all these years since high school so I figure that says something.


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