Beginnings

Welcome friends! I have started this entry in the global technosphere because I have been in love with books since the age of 2. Among the busy business of being a new teacher, this is my outlet for sharing thoughts on a love of reading a wide variety of books. My inspiration can be summed up with a yearbook quote from a teacher written when I was 8: "To the only girl at recess I see reading a book. Good for you!"
My blog title is quoted from a classmate who asked me this once. Believe it or not, I've also heard it as a teacher :D

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Literary Blog Hop


A weekly meme hosted @ The Blue Bookcase.

This week's question is:

What is your favourite poem & why?

What a great opportunity this is to discuss poetry, which doesn't come up all too often in book blogging.  In fact, many people are averse to poetry because in school, they were either taught poetry in a stringent, dull, line-by-line analysis or they weren't exposed to it often enough to truly appreciate it.

My favourite poem has always been "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe, because it evokes such fear and excitement in the reader, especially if read in the spooky tone that its rhythm suggests.  The best reading of the poem is by far from The Simpsons by James Earl Jones for the series' very first Treehouse of Horror Hallowe'en episode:


Sorry that the picture quality is poor but this is the only complete version on YouTube.

Another favourite of mine that can't help mentioning is "Ode on a Grecian Urn" by John Keats, which I discovered in my 19th century lit class at university & has always stuck with me.  When reading it, I imagine how Keats looks into the soul of a painter that created the images etched on the urn and how their existence is lived through its admirers instead of itself.

Thou still unravish'd bride of quietness,
Thou foster-child of Silence and slow Time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape
Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear'd,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal—yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!

Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;
And, happy melodist, unweari├Ęd,
For ever piping songs for ever new;
More happy love! more happy, happy love!
For ever warm and still to be enjoy'd,
For ever panting, and for ever young;
All breathing human passion far above,
That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy'd,
A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.

Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
To what green altar, O mysterious priest,
Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,
And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?
What little town by river or sea-shore,
Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,
Is emptied of its folk, this pious morn?
And, little town, thy streets for evermore
Will silent be; and not a soul, to tell
Why thou art desolate, can e'er return.

O Attic shape! fair attitude! with brede
Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
Thou, silent form! dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral!
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st,
'Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.'

14 comments:

  1. The Raven is a popular choice & understandably so as it's a fantastic Poem, although this was my question, I'm starting to realise how stupid it was to suggest one, as even when writing my answer I couldn't reduce it to a single poem, loved the Simpson's version.
    Parrish

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  2. Both are great poets. I love both the poems!

    Being a poet, I can’t imagine my life without poetry. I live and breath it. I have loved to read a lot of poets and poetry over the years and still find something new every day. I have gone through phases liking, poets, and moving over to the the next. So many yet to read.

    http://readbookswritepoetry.blogspot.com/2010/12/literary-blog-hop-favourite-poetry.html

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  3. Hi!
    I admit I'm not a poetry person. Never have been. It confuses me. Thanks for stopping by my place. Have a great day!

    Sherrie
    Just Books

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  4. You know, I kind of forget that The Raven is actually a poem. Isn't that strange? I do love that one.... and the Simpsons take on it is fabulous!

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  5. The Raven is my favorite as well!

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  6. I love the James Earl Jones reading of The Raven! Such a greaat poem. I've also grown to love Keats a bit more this year.

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  7. Ode to a Grecian Urn is a nice choice and I love the Simpsons version of the Raven.

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  8. The Raven is a wonderfully creepy poem. I chose a Poe poem too, but mine was Eldorado.

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  9. I had forgotten all about the James Earl Jones version - I posted about how I love the Christopher Walken version, but this one is right up there. Good post!

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  10. Love The Raven! And now it always makes me think of that Simpsons episode!

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  11. I've seen The Raven mentioned a few times today... and with good reason!

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  12. It is so sad that many people never discover poetry. It changed my life. So many poems that I love.

    Here's my post: http://readerbuzz.blogspot.com/2010/12/literary-blog-hop-favorite-poem.html

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  13. Edgar Allan Poe

    Marble splendours,black anatomy
    slandered by the worm in the winding sheet--
    All the cold symbols he collected
    of death's victory. And feared them not.
    What he feared was that other shadow,
    Love's, the usual happiness of
    most people; he was not blinded by
    Burnished metal or marble, but by the rose.
    As if on the wrong side of the mirror,
    He yielded, solitary, to his rich
    fate of fabricating nightmares.Perhaps
    on the wrong side of death, solitary
    and unyielding, he devises more
    Magnificent and atrocious marvels still.

    J.L. Borges

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