Wednesday, January 25, 2012

what's on my bookshelf wednesday {3}

Week 3:  One of the shelves in our dining room

We have a little red bookshelf that houses most of our poetry collection, and a little drama.  Mike still reads and discusses poetry each winter as part of his senior English curriculum, but I almost never pick up an anthology to read a poem.  I have memories of snow days spent at home reading Robert Frost with my dad, and some angsty teenage hours spent poring over mushy love poems, but other than that the only poetry I've read has been assigned to me as a class requirement. 
- Mike and I both took a Wordsworth and Keats course our freshman year of college, which was one of the most significant undergraduate classes we ever had.  The professor gave each of us our lowest grades ever (oh, the sting of seeing that red "C+"), and forced us to work through the meanings of Romantic poems with absolutely no forgiveness for wishy-washy answers.  We were put on the spot and expected to figure that ish out.  Yikes.  It was terrifying, but absolutely eye-opening, and a big part of my journey as a student.  Two of the Wordsworth poems that stick out as recommendations are My Heart Leaps Up and We are Seven, both of which Mike teaches in his poetry unit every year.

-  There's a book my dad gave me, called The Little Black Songbook, that's full of Bob Dylan lyrics that also sits on the shelf.  We're big Dylan fans in this house, and reading his poetic song lyrics is always a reminder to me of the power of language.  He has a remarkable way of growling out his tough social commentary that hits home in pretty much every one of his songs, but simply reading the words as poetry has a similar power. 

Do any of you read poetry for pleasure?  Any favorites?  Any classes that forced you to think differently about reading and critical thought?

1 comment:

  1. I tried to get into poetry at one point, but I found that ultimately, I am intellectually lazy and prefer not to think. I feel like I should be embarrassed by this, but evidently I am beyond that. I did take a few French classes that forced me to think critically about what I was reading, but once I got out of college, that ground to a halt.