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 it...it's....it'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.

5 comments:

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...

I have just awarded you a Stylish Blogger Award. Check it out here.
http://www.calamitykitchen.com/2011/04/award-and-not-so-stylish-handwriting.htm

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!