My Heart Rouses

The above is excerpted from William Carlos Williams’s poem “Asphodel, That Greeny Flower.” The poem in its entirety is also great, I encourage you to read it. I only shared this passage from it because it is also the passage that Dana Gioia cites in her essay on poetry, “Can Poetry Matter?” written in 1992. It’s a great essay to read for those who are concerned with poetry– both writing and reading it. Even those who aren’t, actually. It was a bit of a downer for me, since it talks about contemporary poetry in America and how it has essentially become an enclosed community of ass-kissing colleagues. Doesn’t help much that I think it reflects the state of Philippine poetry with shocking precision–I suppose poets are the same all over?

Gioia does end on a positive note, though, and her suggestions for the restoration of poetry to public culture are solid and encouraging. I won’t list them down or anything. If you’d like to read it (and I encourage you to), heres a link: Can Poetry Matter?

I do think I will start a poem of the week sort of thing. Thanks, Gioia, you definitely roused my heart.

Do read the poem, by the way. :)

All Piled Up

These are readings from three of my major subjects, and they aren’t even complete! I have a play and two novels to read, three papers to write, one oral exam and two written exams to take… all in one week. To say that I’m overwhelmed is a bit of an understatement. I can’t wait until Friday afternoon at exactly 3:30 (assuming we don’t extend) to be able to say I’m done with junior year. A lot of things have been getting me down lately, and they happen to directly affect my life as a Lit major. Not going to really get into that, I may end up just bawling my eyes out and that wouldn’t really help me focus. Right now, I just need to get through the week and then maybe face all of this thought on the future.

It’s often disheartening to be a English Lit major in a society (and I mean specifically Philippine society) wherein that isn’t really the norm. It really annoys me to think that at one point, literary critics and academics specializing in literature were looked up to and thought of as so much more than book worms. Not meaning to sound boastful, but I really am more than someone who likes to read. Now it’s businessmen and doctors and entrepreneurs who get all of the admiration–because they’re good with numbers, socially oriented, or cut-throat and street smart.

Before I really get into it and upset myself, I usually remind myself how lucky I am. Despite all the expectations and pressures society imposes on us, my parents let me study what I love. I really, really love what I do. When I graduate, will I be but a glorified close reader? I think not. I might look at the pile of work I have as a huge burden at first, but once I get into it, I know I’m studying what I should be studying.

Cheese! Shallow fashion-related post to follow for sure, but after all of my finals are over and done with! Or maybe in between, to blow off steam. Haha.

p.s. The photo of text above is from “Ghosts” by Henrik Ibsen. I didn’t photograph the exact page, but there’s a part were Manders, the evil Pastor, says to Mrs. Alving: “To crave for happiness in this world is simply to be possessed by a spirit of revolt. What right have we to happiness?” And to that I say we have every right– especially as women– to do more than what is designated as “duty.” This play lends itself very well to a feminist reading, which is exactly what I’m going to do with it. haha

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