Monday, April 4, 2011

"And How Should I Begin?"

Tonight JDubbs and I were watching Jeopardy and the category was "Poetic Questions."  I perked right up, being an English teacher on hiatus, and got the first one right off the bat.  To be fair, it was a bit of a gimme (something like, His poem, "Song of Myself" blah  blah blah).  Then the second question appeared and I was practically hopping up and down.  It was about one of my most favorite poems ever, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" and the answer was the poet's name.  I know the answer.  I love this poem.  I did a 45 minute lesson on this poem for my Secondary Methods class in college.  I can quote a line or two on command.  I remember where I was the first time I read it and the flash of realization that this poem was life-altering.  But...the poet's name?  His name is....well, of course, I know''s... Shit.

In case you're dying to know, the poet is T.S. Elliot.  Not my favorite poet, not my favorite style, but I just love this poem and it's many, many layers and brilliant use of literary devices.  So how could I forget it?  How could it have been so long since I read it?  How have I forgotten this major component of who makes me who I am?

Oh, right.  I've been busy.

But too busy for poetry?  Too busy for Prufrock?  Too busy to use my brain in a non-mommy/crafty/bloggy way?  To remember that there is more in the world that I love than what and who reside in this house?

"I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid."

This is an awakening for me.  If I have to make it a monthly part of the blog in order to make sure that I do it, I will.  I will read poetry.  I will use the part of my brain that loves literature and the contemplation and reflection that comes with it, and I will make time for it.  Well, not until after Lent because I gave up reading for pleasure for Lent, but soon I will make time.  Not a book report or a book club; just reveling in words and their beautiful meaning.  I will purposefully make a change in my routine.

"Do I dare
Disturb the universe?...

And should I then presume?
And how should I begin?"

I guess I just began.  I am presuming.  Whether you like it or not, here it comes.  Intellectual thought.  Coming to a blog near you.  Bring it, Prufrock.


Jessica said...

You gave up pleasure reading for Lent??? WHAT??
(I guess this isn't really that crazy...I have given up pleasure reading for entire semesters at a time...)
I'm a fellow English teacher and Prufrock lover. Looking forward to your poetry reflections! :-)

Becky said...

I know it's crazy. I try to give up something I'll actually miss and right now I'm really missing it!! I want to go pick up my e.e. cummings and snuggle up in bed. Instead I have to wait three weeks!

Calamity Kate said...

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Elise Ann Wormuth said...

From one English teacher to another . . . all right, you're on. Let's think about poetry. :)

Alicia Stucky said...

I needed this post this morning. Thanks becky, and good for you!