Poetry "Holding it to the light"

I poetry we the reader are asked one thing over and over again. This is what is life and the absence of it to you? Poetry is much like an interrogator to the reader in this way. So what of that? Well what poetry wants to ask us is to question our ideas on life. So what ideals do you hold? Now question those.
We see this in each poem we have read and in each era.

Shakespeare questions the ideals of sexuality and love.
Blake questions the ideals of the state of politics and of age.
Wordsworth questions religion and the state our souls.
Whitman questions the idea of connection and our souls.
Dickinson questions the ideals of death.
Carroll questions the automatic assumptions of people.

More specific examples:
In “Shall I compare thee” and “My Mistress’s eyes” by Shakespeare, Shakespeare directly contradicts himself on the ideas of what absolute beauty is and why to love. Should I love the appearance or love for something other. What is sexuality? These question come from his poems.

In “Jabberwocky” by Carroll, Carroll ask us how do we think and how do we get there. Carroll uses words that we do not know and yet we all get to the same conclusion.

So what is that? That is what we take without question in our youth.

Daniel Willard

Reply to WIllard

I enjoy the idea of the poet being the interrogator to the reader when expressing how do we feel about their poetry and what values do they hold. However this leads me to believe that the poet is leaving the idea very open about what the poem actually means. DO you think that the poet has a purpose for the interrogation? (the poem) That the poem is meant to be read a certain way in hopes that you change your values?

what does it mean?

I don't like the question of my subject header. I like to ask "What might it mean"? because we don't know what the poet intended, and we don't even have to care what the poet intended. It's not anything goes, but we have to anchor our response in the text and then move outward from there once we understand it on the basic level, at least understand it as best we can. But poets rarely provide answers, except in an Aesop's Fables kind of way. They instead move us to consider things and come to a conclusion, a good conclusion we hope.




IF we are still coming to a conclusion ow it differant for aesop's fables other then it is realate to the real world and is more convaluted? you still gain an idea about life and in context. so poets may never give a straight anwser for there are non to be had. Even in aesops fables you could pull out diferant ideas like where and how to lie instead of tell the truth.

So in my mind the question becomes what does it mean to you what can you conclude.

Is there more?

I really like how you wrote out what each of the poets questioned separately. And I definitely agree with you. However, do you think there is a thread between them all that they may all question or talk about in some way? To me, I keep seeing a pattern of each era that they all have in common. They each have a meaning behind their piece of art, but why? So what of that? I also like your examples that you used and I agree as well.

Time the affect on the page

Yes as in all writting it is a commentary on the human condtion. As this morphes so do the bigger issues. we devived eras by major advancement. this mean the overcoming of old issues and opening pandoras box of new issues. that is way. a more specfifc thread other then the general Humity call; there proably is i just cant think of one.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.