In “The Lottery” by ShirleyJackson, I found a story teeming with so much symbolism that I had toread the story twice before I understood half of it. In “Araby” byJames Joyce, I learned to look deeper than just the surface of theoriginal wording to find new meanings to the story. Poetry, on the other hand, has been like a curse to me. I felt as if Iwere out of my depth when forced to read it. I could read the words,but comprehension was beyond me. Then, just last week I discoveredpoetry is indeed a foreign language.
“I’ve always picked up languageseasily,” I thought. I then knew that all I had to do was translate thedead language of poetry into terms I could understand, then, with ablinding flash, comprehension dawned. E. E. Cummings is really just adirty old man.
Carlos Williams is a political activist, and DylanThomas is incredibly grief stricken about the loss of some loved one. The emotions of the poems were almost too overwhelming to deal with. Once I was told that as we evolve, so to does our language. I thoughtmy teacher had been in the sun too long when she told me that. But whenI started reading works by William Shakespear, I found just how rightshe was.
The writings of Shakespear also have the added benefit ofbeing like poetry. For me drama is tedious, boring, and too hard tokeep track of. Given the choice of reading Shakespear or getting a newseries of hepatitis shots, I would go for a double series any day. Whenever I’m given a reading task, I treat it like a job, something toput up with until I’m done. I know differently now.
I wonder how muchI have missed thinking in such a way. From now on, I know that I willsee it differently. Already with new eyes I see short stories and poemsdifferently. Drama, however, will always be viewed as a painful task.