Friday, September 23, 2005

Where's the REAL tragedy nowadays???

So as everyone knows, mainly because I've complained about it intensely lately, I have been doing a ton of reading lately. I'm taking a British Lit class this semester and right now we're in the Romantic period and we've been reading a TON of poetry. (Poetry is good because it's code word for shorter than the novels in my other classes). It's actually a really great class. I love the professor and she makes class discussion really interesting. Anyway, so we've been reading everything from Blake, to Coleridge to Keats to Charlotte Smith and let me tell you something, these people had a reason to wallow in misery and write sonnets, and odes, and make up intense theories about how to bring about the apocalypse. Before every section in the anthology we get to read the poet's biography and it seems like everyone is just miserable: opium addictions, dying in their twenties, husbands who beat them and go to debtor's prison... DANG! So it got me thinking, can you only be a really good writer if you've had this incredibly horrible life? Today in class we were comparing Keats and John Clare and a kid said he just couldn't get into Clare because, "His life just wasn't hard enough for me" we all laughed because it's kind of true...there just isn't as much depth to his stuff, until he went insane and started writing in the asylum...then it gets a little better. I don't know...this blog really has no point. I just feel so sad for all these miserable poets. And does any kind of modern misery actually qualify to be on the same level as these folk's? I know we have hard things to deal with too, but nothing seems to live up to rat infested debtor's prison...I don't know- just a question to send out into the void.


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