I read poetry

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I have been reading a lot of poetry for college recently, and I thought I could share my thoughts on the blog a little bit, since I’m here to talk about books, and I enjoyed it way more than I thought I would.

Here is the list of the books I’m going to talk about, which are incidentally the ones we are studying in class:

TS Eliot’s Collected Poems

Apollinaire’s Calligrammes

Nelly Sachs’ In Der Wohnung der Todes and Sternverdunkelung

Giuseppe Ungaretti’s Vita d’un uomo

And a selection of Owen’s poetry which is a bilingual edition and was translated as Et chaque lent crépuscule

Since I am French, I know a bit about French poetry, and not so much about the rest of it, except for a few poems we studied in class (like Erlkönig or Die Lorelei in German, or The road not taken by Robert Frost in English, since for some reason it has stayed in a corner of my head ever since 11th grade when we studied it).

I am also a huge fan of Arthur Rimbaud’s poetry ever since I discovered him (that was in 11th grade too) and I have read all his poems. His work is so interesting.

But let’s get down to business. First of all, we are studying TS Eliot’s Collected Poems in American Literature. I didn’t quite know what to expect from it since as far as I can recall, I had never heard of him (shame on me). I still don’t know why literature teachers always want to “explain” or “comment” poems so much. As far as I’m concerned I’m just fine with finding them beautiful, and that was 100% the case with Eliot. Northrop Frye said about Eliot that “Whether he is liked or disliked is of no importance, but he must be read.” and somehow I really agree with that statement. The poems were truly fascinating, I couldn’t put the book down. (And yes, I am talking about poetry there. I don’t know if I’m doing this right or wrong, but I read it like a story somehow, and I enjoyed it, which is all that matter to me.)

We are studying war poets in comparative literature, which explains the 4 other books. I have to admit I find it a bit strange to study foreign poets in a translation, but at least I found they were a very interesting read. I read Apollinaire in French, and Owen in English, but Nelly Sachs and Giuseppe Ungaretti were both translated (though I’m going to search for the original poems since I can read German and Italian).

Did you know? Nelly Sachs won the Nobel Price for Literature in 1966.

I’m not sure what I wanted to say when I started this article. I wanted to say that I liked poetry, and enjoyed those reads more than I thought I would. What’s important? I think everyone should read a bit of poetry at some point. It can move you, it can change you. You don’t need to be “educated” or anything. Poetry goes straight to your heart and that’s what makes it so powerful.

(Also I’m back to college so I’m not sure I’ll be able to post a lot for the time being, at least I’ll try!)


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