Thursday, December 02, 2004

Back to Doom and Gloom!

Our lecture on Doom and Gloom poems was one I enjoyed. Not that I'm the type of person that likes brooding, or likes being depressed. But there is a part of me that is fascinated by the way some people express their grief and suffering. Call me a morbid existentialist, but reading some of the poems Prof. Kuin suggested in his blog really moved me. They depict an aspect of life that we all, have gone through, are going through, or will go through at some point in our lives; many times. Loss, grief and sadness are such profound feelings, and these poets show us that in a raw and powerful way. Anyone in Prof. Kuin's tutorial knows what I'm talking about; Sylvia Plath's Daddy is one hell of a poem (probably my favourite one we've studied this year)! Quoting sections won't do it justice, I seriously recommend reading all of it, it's not that long (Norton, pg. 1732).
As I write this, I thinking of how grief, loss and suffering can be tied in with insanity. Insanity is another topic that I find interesting. I think it was Einstein who said: "The line between genius and insanity is a thin one." I bring up insanity because William Cowper's Lines Written During a Period of Insanity, is a poem that ties in with the theme of suffering. The persona in this poem is going through a tremendous period of suffering, that is, suffering of the mind (which is often worse than suffering of the body). But the suffering is of a particular kind, this person is going through a crisis of faith. I think this is probably one of the most frightening experiences a person can go through. Faith is something that we can take solace in when we feel vulnerable and scared, to have that questioned and cast into doubt must be quite disconcerting. I think a lot of us university students have questioned what we believe at least once in our life times. I know I have! Lines Written During a Period of Insanity, captures this crisis in quite a dramatic way. What with Cowper's allusions to the bible, images of hell's hungry mouth and the vindictive rod of an angry God. Very doom oriented, I would say!
But like Prof. Kuin said in lecture, writing poems like this (or writing anything for that matter), helps a person work through their suffering (be it suffering grief, or whatever else). By working through their feelings they can come to some sense of closure. It's a form of venting and the poets in the Norton do this in a very profound way.

Some food for consideration!


Blogger Giancarlo De Rosa said...

Gllom and doom is probably one of my favourite types of poetry as well. Alot of poems we disscuss in class are about Hero's or love and mushy stuff and thats all well and good but I think that in order to appriciate poetry we need to study poetry that doesn't sugar coat everything.
good points Sidd

December 5, 2004 at 10:02 PM  

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