Saturday, April 07, 2007

A brief interlude

Once again this post is inspired by a post from Alexandre Borovik's blog. It's about a poem. A poem which after reading properly a few minutes ago, I now can't get enough off! Stranger things have happened, but I really can't put what I think about the poem into words. I'm going to attempt this obviously, but not sure how successful I'm going to be. Actually scrap that- it seems that my analysis skills in English are now competing with my 'analysis' skills in Maths! ;) I know for sure that I won't be losing any sleep over the English analysis, but I would really love to describe the small buzz that this poem has created.

Upon reading that poem, I started writing the comment, and whilst I was doing this Po was rambling about her English coursework and anthology lessons. I was obviously making the noises one makes when they're trying to show someone they're listening and also made odd comments (You can't expect me to multi-task!). Anyway, after Po had finished talking about her English coursework she went on to talk about her anthology lessons. Now I was no longer attempting to listen, but was actually listening. Comment posted, I gave my undivided attention to Po.

For my GCSE English we had an anthology section in which we studied poems from different cultures. Yes, I was pretty crap at this, however I really used to enjoy the lessons where we used to discuss the poems. Now I offhandedly mentioned that I had recently read a poem about maths to Po. Po's obvious response was - 'Maths, Poems, whats the world coming to!' (well something along them lines!). La la now joined the battle field (well anything 'bad' that's got to do with maths will be where La La can be found!). I played it safe and said it's about mathematicians, that was enough to distract them to anthology again.

Now this post has really surfaced because of the 'emotions' poetry has stirred within me. There are some things in life which emanate a certain beauty from within, and for some mathematicians it's the equation: . I have yet to really 'feel' the beauty of that equation so to speak, but I'm not going to say that it isn't neat. It has a certain quality to it, but the same buzz which that poem gave me isn't yet associated with it. That poem was beautiful, if I may say so, although I do risk sounding 'soppy'. (i.e. not my normal self ;) ) My English teacher, who I also admire greatly (I was getting C/D's before year 10- she was awesome!) will be shocked to read this!

That's not the only poem which has me 'a transformed bean', but since I like both poems I don't mind. I don't go out of my way looking to read poetry, but those that fall across my path seem to trap me. In anthology we studied a lot of poems- some I found great, whereas others I disregarded. A few that I liked and more importantly remember(!) are Hurricane Hits England (HHE) and Vultures. I recall selecting HHE in my exam, and the reason I liked it was because of the last line. That's something which people nowadays seem to have forgotten. No one else in my class seemed to like Vulture's however here's your chance to read it and see what you make of it.
Vultures
In the greyness
and drizzle of one despondent
dawn unstirred by harbingers
of sunbreak a vulture
perching high on broken
bone of a dead tree
nestled close to his
mate his smooth
bashed-in head, a pebble
on a stem rooted in
a dump of gross
feathers, inclined affectionately
to hers. Yesterday they picked
the eyes of a swollen
corpse in a water-logged
trench and ate the things in its bowel. Full
gorged they chose their roost
keeping the hollowed remnant
in easy range of cold
telescopic eyes ...
Strange
indeed how love in other
ways so particular
will pick a corner
in that charnel-house
tidy it and coil up there, perhaps
even fall asleep - her face
turned to the wall!
... Thus the Commandant at Belsen
Camp going home for
the day with fumes of
human roast clinging
rebelliously to his hairy
nostrils will stop
at the wayside sweet-shop
and pick up a chocolate
for his tender offspring
waiting at home for Daddy's return ...
Praise bounteous
providence if you will
that grants even an ogre
a tiny glow-worm
tenderness encapsulated
in icy caverns of a cruel
heart or else despair
for in every germ
of that kindred love is
lodged the perpetuity
of evil.

(by Chinua Achebe)

So what do you make of either poems? I'd rather not go into a whole essay about it, but there is something about this poem which I like and possibly will never forget it. Who said mathematicians weren't flexible? :D

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