Diving into Poetry

by Matthew Koslowski on June 23, 2010
in Essays

“A poem needs understanding through the senses. The point of diving in a lake is not immediately to swim to the shore, but to be in the lake, to luxuriate in the sensation of water. You do not work the lake out. It is an experience beyond thought. Poetry soothes and emboldens the soul to accept mystery.”
– John Keats in the film Bright Star

Bright Star has become one of my favorite movies since I saw it twice in theatres. And my favorite scene from the film is the poetry lesson that John Keats gives Fanny Brawne. Fanny states she does not know how to work out a poem, as so many of us would say if someone asked us how to work out a poem. Keats responds with the above.

The last few nights I have watched again and again and again this particular scene. Keats gives an entire year’s worth of poetic instruction in that single scene.

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Lately in discussing poetry with my friends, they say, “I am no expert in poetry,” or “I do not understand poetry,” even before we have discussed a poem. If I were to ask a friend what they thought of Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club or Hubert Selby Jr.’s Requiem for a Dream, would they say, “Oh, I am no expert in novels”?

No, they would not. The very idea is ridiculous.

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Weekly Review: October 16th to October 22nd

Each week, whenever I’m reading The Boston Globe, The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal — almost exclusively online these days — I try to take note of interesting articles to share here.

And each week, I find there is both too much and too little to share.

I feel like my ability to filter which stories will be interesting and which won’t be is not getting any better as the weeks progress. I hope, though, that you are enjoying the pieces that I do choose to share.

And, further, I hope that if you find anything interesting that I missed you’ll share it with me in the comments below.

These Things Caught My Eye

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