Monday, March 29, 2010

Poetry Meme

Poetry isn't really my favourite genre but there are some poets whose work I love and thereby, got interested in poetry. Priya gave some fascinating answers for this great meme and here's my take on it:

1. The first poem I remember reading/hearing/reacting to was:

Sarojini Naidu's The Bangle Sellers. I think I read this for a competition in school. It's just so vivid and descriptive and I love it! A few lines from it:

Some are like fields of sunlit corn,
Meet for a bride on her bridal morn,
Some, like the flame of her marriage fire,
Or, rich with the hue of her heart's desire,
Tinkling, luminous, tender, and clear,
Like her bridal laughter and bridal tear.

2. I was forced to memorize (name of poem) in school and……..

This is the poem I loved memorizing for school! Sonnet 116 by William Shakespeare. Few lines from this masterpiece:

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;

Austen-fan that I am, I absolutely love it when Kate Winslet playing Marianne Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility recites these lines in the pouring rain. Perhaps one of the most powerful moments in the film. Almost always makes a tear slide down my cheek!

3. I read/don’t read poetry because….

I read poetry when I'm in the mood for it. I don't read it that often because a lot of poems go over my head, to be honest. Some poets aren't at all my kind and I'd rather read the poets I love than pretend to appreciate popular poets!

4. A poem I’m likely to think about when asked about a favorite poem is …….

Priya wrote about this too, and I've already mentioned this poem before in this blog. Those who visit my blog know about my Thursdays With Tagore meme and would have guessed rightly that he is my favourite poet.

 Well..this is the Tagore poem I read that made me a life-long fan. I remember reading this for the first time on Independence Day and realizing that I'm crying. 

Such an experience has never happened with any other poem till now in my life. Perhaps it was the occasion that was overwhelming. But that poem captivated me beyond words. 

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

In a similar vein, I love Sarojini Naidu's poem To India:

O young through all thy immemorial years! 
Rise, Mother, rise, regenerate from thy gloom,
And, like a bride high-mated with the spheres,
Beget new glories from thine ageless womb!

The nations that in fettered darkness weep
Crave thee to lead them where great mornings break . . . .
Mother, O Mother, wherefore dost thou sleep?
Arise and answer for thy children's sake!

Thy Future calls thee with a manifold sound
To crescent honours, splendours, victories vast;
Waken, O slumbering Mother and be crowned,
Who once wert empress of the sovereign Past. 

5. I write/don’t write poetry, but…………..

I don't write poetry because I'm not comfortable with that style of writing. I haven't tried it much, to be honest.

6. My experience with reading poetry differs from my experience with reading other types of literature…..

Most certainly because there's just so much more to a poem than what you read. The poem on paper is just the beginning of an experience of sorts for the reader.

7. I find poetry…..

Powerful. The poetry I like is the one that gets to me emotionally, lingers on my mind and never let's me go. Unforgettable, emotional and powerful poetry is the type I love.

8. The last time I heard poetry….

was so long ago, I don't even remember!

9. I think poetry is like….

An optical illusion like this. Different people see poetry differently and it means one thing to someone and yet another possibly opposite thing to someone else. I think poetry is an experience, a personalized experience worth cherishing if you find the kind you like! :)

I tag anyone interested in doing this meme. It's fun!


Astrid (Mrs.B) said...

I love Sonnet 116 too and I also had to memorize it at school. Guess memorization works because I still remember it word for word.

Hannah Stoneham said...

Interesting post - thanks for sharing. I find that listening to poetry is the best way to enjoy it - I was very sceptical about going to poetry readings until I tried it.

thanks indeed for sharing


Priya Iyer said...

lovely answers... glad you took it up too, was fun reading through your version :)

Kals said...

Mrs. B - Same here! I remember the whole poem too and it really is unforgettably beautiful a poem :)

Hannah - I've been skeptical about poetry reading sessions too. Maybe I should try going to some of them!

Priya - Thank you :)

Vaishnavi said...

Sonnet 116 is my absolute favourite and I love love love the last are right poetry is so powerful..unfortunately I haven't read any of the Indian works (have to!) but I am addicted to Keats and Shakespeare :) I have this anthology of love poems which have some awesome ones in it...and have you read The Owl and the Pussycat?? You must :)

Kals said...

Nope..I've not read The Owl and the Pussycat. I probably should :)

And I definitely recommend you read Indian poets. They have quite a unique style, IMO :)


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