Saturday, February 18, 2006

Never dissect a Poem

When I was young,
I was naive and impressionable,
and always desperately trying
to impress women.
(my buddies claim I haven’t
changed a bit…)
On a vacation trip, I came across
this poem* that really moved me.
Promptly, I wrote about it to my
new pretty English teacher.
Line by line I paraphrased the poem,
explaining how good it was. What
the poet meant etc., etc., Finally after
showing off my alleged acumen,
I had the audacity to ask her,
“What do you think
of the poem ?”
And I waited anxiously for her reply.
“That is a beautiful poem,” She wrote back,
“You have pinned it on its back, exposing
its soft, secret sensitive areas.
Very nice.” I felt thrilled and read on.
“But, you didn’t stop there,”
she continued her critique, “ You had to
cut it, quarter it, gut it,
show me its raw innards, its fading beating heart,
its gasping lungs and its
naked slimy soul.. Tell me, how can I fancy
this poem that you’ve
so clinically dissected ?”

*The Guy in the Glass


Blogger EATING POETRY said...

You made me laugh. This is definitley one of my favorite pieces. I laughed because it is so true, how we try to disect things rather than just let them be.

By the way, is this poem true?


p.s. The irony is that I did not write "life after love" on a rainy weekend, but while vacationing in sunny LA. I expound more back at my blog.

7:39 PM  
Blogger Prmod Bafna said...

Hmmm lol quite funny! often we do such things which we want to present in the best way possible just cos we can't let it be! Been there too when i once loved this girl so much that we discussed a lot of poems for hours at a stretch! she was quite sweet and we were in love and hence i never did know for a long, long time the extent of my disections ;)

12:01 AM  
Blogger bittersweet said...

oh no, :) i felt her words prick me as well. agree with eating poetry up there.

a lesson to be learnt, for myself especially... why must we question something good and wholesome.

12:56 PM  
Blogger ~River~ said...

I like "dissecting" poems. It's the way I earn my bread and butter (and, sometimes, the extra marmalade). ~:D

Seriously, though, a 'good' (problematic word) poem will be able to endure the processes of dissection and still preserve the beauty of its "innards".

The piece reminded me of my obsessions. Thanks.

10:16 PM  
Blogger Ardra said...

However, must admit that I enjoy such 'dissections" be it of prose or poetry...i dont see it as post mortem- Its like as if each critic takes us thru unforeseen paths - perhaps thru alleys not intended by the author/poet himself...
I feel that each piece of art unfolds itself in myriad hues to different readers- and it is this kaleidoscopic effect that adds to the depth of a work...
and somehow such sujourns give me so much of pleasure- in fact I've even been guilty of enjoying the so called 'analyses' much more than the original work at times.

2:24 AM  
Blogger Capegirl said...

i fail to dissect poetry but really feel a rhythm in my gut which rings true or smacks of posturing or insincerity or an effort to emulate 'great' writers. i'm a simple girl like that.

5:03 PM  

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