Gwendolyn Brooks, ee cummings, T.S. Eliot

I replaced the Gwendolyn Brooks link below, but I think I should offer a few words of warning. Or rather, of explanation.

The poem is included in the midst of an essay, also by Brooks. To understand what's there, you should know that Gwendolyn Brooks is a black poet who lived through the Civil Rights movement. I do not like everything I have read of hers, but I do appreciate her sometimes-sarcastic insight into social issues. This particular poem happens to be my favorite explanation of the irony of Western foreign policy. . .although I'm sure it could be interpreted in other ways as well.

As for ee cummings, I enjoy his lack of conventionality in syntax. I don't always understand him or agree with him when I do, but I do appreciate his originality. "anyone lives in a pretty how town" is a modernist-type poem about isolation, I suppose. Odd, because just yesterday I was proclaiming how I dislike modernist work. It's so empty. Maybe it's just the novels I don't like. . .prolonged emptiness. It's not the emptiness I like about this poem, of course, but the recognition that people contribute to it through ignorance and lack of consideration for their fellow man.

We're going to tackle "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" today in class. It's empty and random. Modernist work saddens me; loneliness and isolation are such avoidable tragedies. However, I continue reading it on occasion for that very reason--for the reminder that I have a part in rejecting that emptiness in my own life and the lives of those I come in contact with.

I really must be going. . .students will be (I am sure) eagerly awaiting their introduction to T.S. Eliot.


Naomi Joy said...

It's Sunday afternoon. Just so you know.

Naomi Joy said...

Waaa....I want more posts. :-)

Naomi Joy said...

Ummm....did you forget you have a blog?